It’ll be a typical late-fall gun-metal-sky day, 32 degrees at kickoff, a brisk 20-mph wind all game long with no precipitation, according to one forecast. ESPN2 will televise this bruiser.
Perfect for Illinois tailback Chase Brown, the nation’s leading rusher, to dominate. For our money, right now, the Heisman Trophy race is between him and Michigan’s Blake Corum.
So, here’s a look at Purdue vs. Illinois odds and a pick in Week 11 of the NCAAF season.
Purdue vs. Illinois Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline
Here are live odds from around the betting market for Purdue vs. Illinois at Memorial Stadium Champaign.
NCAAF · Sat (11/12) @ 12:01pm ET
|Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Illinois|
Purdue Boilermakers (5-4, 3-6 Against The Spread)
The Boilers have allowed 127 rushing yards a game, which is top-quarter stinginess in the country. A closer look, however, reveals holes.
They’ve yielded an average of 161 to their past three foes. And last week, Iowa ran for 184 yards in its 24-3 victory at Purdue. The previous week, Wisconsin gained 178 on the ground in a 35-24 home triumph over the Boilermakers.
What’s more, all that attention to the ground has left Purdue’s secondary vulnerable to the pass. It has allowed 8.3 yards per throw over the season, a bottom-20 rate. Worse, over their past three games, the Boilers have yielded 10.3 yards per throw, the worst in the country.
That will bring a smile to the mug of Illinois QB Tommy DeVito, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior from New Jersey who began his career at Syracuse and is No. 2 in the country in completion percentage at 71.8, behind Oregon’s Bo Nix (73.3).
Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell, a 6-3, 210-pound senior from Long Grove, Ill., delivered the worst game of his career last weekend, going 20-for-43 (his first sub-.500 game) for 168 yards, no TDs, and two interceptions. At home!
Between them, tailbacks Devin Mockobee and Dylan Downing have 900 rushing yards and 10 TDs. Charlie Jones is the receiving danger man with 83 catches, second in the nation to Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson (87) and nine TDs.
However, O’Connell promises to have difficulty against an Illinois secondary that allows opposing quarterbacks to complete only 47.2% of their attempts, the country’s lone defense that keeps the other guys from connecting on fewer than half of their throws.
In sum, this will be difficult for Purdue against the Big Ten’s lone defense that hasn’t allowed 100 points. (They’ve yielded 94 for a 10.4-point average; Michigan is second at 12.1 and Illinois travels to Ann Arbor next weekend.)
The Illini is second in the league with 26 sacks (the Wolverines have 29), and Illinois leads with 16 picks (Wisconsin has 15).
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No. 21 Illinois Fighting Illini (7-2, 6-3 ATS)
Chase Brown, a 6-2, 225-pound junior out of London, Ontario, who played prep ball in Florida and started his career at Western Michigan, has accumulated triple-digit yardage in all nine of his games this season.
His 1,344 yards top the nation with UAB’s DeWayne McBride (1,287), Marshall’s Khalan Laborn (1,200), and Blake Corum (1,187) of the Wolverines rounding out the élite quartet.
Illini boss Bret Bielema has been relying more on Chase lately, too, as he’s carried the ball 137 times in the past four games.
Brown is classy, always thanking an offensive line that Phil Steele recognized in his preseason annual. Count on him atoning for his last game against Purdue in Champaign in 2020 when he ran 11 times for 73 yards.
On defense, one service grades junior Devon Witherspoon as the country’s best coverage cornerback. Defensive end Jer’Zhan Newton, a 6-2, 290-pound sophomore, leads the Illini with 47 total tackles, a top-20 12 for loss and 5.5 sacks.
Chase’s identical twin Sydney is tied (with Kendall Smith) for the team lead with four interceptions. He and Witherspoon have combined for 18 pass defenses, incompletions via deflections, or other break-ups.
The two Illinois losses, last week at home to Michigan State and in Week 2 at Indiana, were fueled by its defense allowing close to or more than 300 yards. If it keeps an opponent below 250, victory is guaranteed.
The Boilers racked up only 255 total yards last week in that ugly home defeat to Iowa, and they have committed multiple turnovers in five of their past six games.
At home, Illinois allows 0.177 points per play, the fifth-lowest FBS figure. Over its past three games, Purdue has allowed 0.568 points per play, the seventh-worst rate in the country.
Purdue vs. Illinois Sports Betting Recommendation & Pick
One of our models has Illinois winning, 29-7. It opened as a 4-point favorite, which has been rightfully bet up close to a TD.
Purdue tallied no TDs last week in that ugly home defeat to Iowa and the last time that happened to a Boilers squad was 60 games ago, a 17-9 defeat at Wisconsin on Oct. 14, 2017.
Does that happen twice in a row to the Boilermakers? Illinois has what it takes to pull it off, and it needs to retain a one-game edge atop the Big Ten West. We also favor a half-unit Under position.
Our Pick: Illini -6.5 (-110)