The Illinois Fighting Illini will battle the Penn State Nittany Lions in this Big Ten West vs Big Ten East Division showdown. The Fighting Illini have lost two games in a row and they will try to get their offense going again. The Nittany Lions have won three games in a row and they are looking stronger each week. Who will win this game? Read our Illinois vs Penn State picks, find the best odds, lines, free bets, and legal US Sportsbooks where to place your bets!
When is Illinois vs Penn State?
Date: Saturday, Dec. 19
Location: Beaver Stadium – University Park, Pennsylvania
Time: 5:30 PM EST
Fighting Illini vs Nittany Lions Odds & Spreads
Moneyline: ILL: (+500) I PSU: (-600)
Spread: ILL: +15 (-105) I PSU: -15 (-105)
Total: Over: 52 (-105) I Under: 52 (-105)
Illinois is last in the Big Ten West Division, 2-5 overall, and 3-4 ATS. The Fighting Illini struggle on offense, but they do have a surprisingly strong rushing game, that ranks 28th. The offense scores around 20 points per game. The defense is below average and average at defending the passing game. They give up around 32 points per game. This team just played two ranked teams and lost by double digits in both of them.
Last week, Illinois lost to Northwestern 28-10. They were outscored 28 to 0 in the middle quarters and just couldn’t get anything going. Illinois didn’t have a passing game and they struggled to stop the running game.
Penn State is fourth in the Big Ten East Division, 3-5 overall, and 3-5 ATS. The Nittany Lions offense is decent and they are good at time of possession. They score around 26 points per game. Penn State has an above average defense and they are a top 30 team in rushing defense. They give up around 28 points per game. The Nittany Lions are playing solid football. Sure it was against below average teams, but it’s nice to see some production on both sides of the ball.
Last week, Penn State beat Michigan State 39-24. The Nittany Lions were down 21-10 at halftime and outscored Michigan State 29-3 in the second half. Quarterback Sean Clifford went 17 of 27, for 232 yards, and 2 touchdowns. They had awesome rushing and receiving depth.
Head to Head
This will be the 25th all-time meeting between the Fighting Illini and Nittany Lions. Penn State leads the series with a 19-5 record. In the last ten games, the Nittany Lions are 7-3 and the Fighting Illini are 6-4 ATS. The over/under is 6-4. Penn State scores around 29 points and Illinois is around 17. The Nittany Lions have the edge in all the key areas and they have a current two game winning streak over the Fighting Illini.
Our Illinois vs Penn State Picks & Predictions
The Illinois offense has been trending backwards, but they did just play against two ranked teams, and maybe that will lead to decent production again. Penn State is getting a strong effort from their offense again and the defense is stepping things up too. The Fighting Illini will try to rush a lot, but that usually leads to more field goals than touchdowns. Penn State has depth and a good pass rush going for them. The Nittany Lions are a confident group that will contain the Illinois rushing game and control time of possession. Penn State wins 31-13 and covers the spread.