College Football Picks: Ohio State Vs Illinois Betting Preview

Ohio St Buckeyes at Illinois Fighting Illini, Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
Saturday, October 2, 2010, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Line: Ohio St -17 1/2
Current Line: Ohio St -17
Opening Total: 51
Current Total: 50 1/2
Money Line: Ohio St -900 / Illinois +650

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Ohio State Buckeyes Vs Illinois Illini
The Ohio State Buckeyes are currently 17 point road favorites over the Illini

Ohio St opens Big Ten conference play on the road to take on Illinois. The Buckeyes are the #2 team in the country and have rolled to a 4-0 start outscoring their opponents 197-58 so far. For those not good at math, the Buckeyes are averaging just under 50 points a game. Meanwhile Ron Zook’s Illini are 2-1 after a narrow loss to open the season against Missouri 23-13, and victories over in-state rivals Northern and Southern Illinois. The powerful Buckeyes usually perform well as favorites on the college football odds. In the past two seasons, Ohio St is 14-3 against the spread, including an 11-3 record as favorites in the same stretch.  The Buckeyes are also 52-33 ATS since 1992, and are an impressive 41-22 ATS as a road favorite in the same time period. The Buckeyes are 84-59 ATS  against conference opponents since 1992. The Buckeyes have performed well on the road in big games the last 3 seasons, posting a 7-0 record ATS in road games against teams with winning records. Meanwhile, Illinois has underperformed at home since 1992, posting a 39-63 record ATS. Illinois is 54-86 ATS on turf in the same time period.

The Buckeyes have been dominant on both sides of the ball this season. The offense is led by quarterback Terrelle Pryor who has over 1,200 yards total passing and rushing. Pryor has 13 touchdowns so far this season, including 10 through the air. He has thrown only 2 picks. In the Buckeye’s 73-20 destruction of hapless Eastern Michigan, Pryor had 6 touchdowns before being taken out in the 4th quarter. The Buckeyes have rushed for 961 yards total in 4 games, almost 250 yards a game. Amazingly, 961 is also the amount of total yards the Buckeyes have given up to 4 opponents so far! The Buckeye rushing game has 3 other players besides Pryor who have at least 169 rushing yards so far. They have 11 rushing TD’s. If possible the Buckeyes might even be better on defense than offense. As mentioned they are only giving up less than 250 yards a game total, including less than 70 on the ground. The Buckeyes only have 5 sacks but have forced 13 turnovers. However, though the Buckeyes have put up some gaudy stats on both sides of the ball, bettors should keep in mind that apart from an early season showdown with Miami-Florida, the Buckeyes’ schedule has been paper soft. They have routs against Marshall, Ohio, and Eastern Michigan, not exactly a murderer’s row.

Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has been inconssitent throwing the ball. He has only thrown 380 yards, 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He has been better running the ball, gaining 204 yards on 40 carries and a touchdown. In fact the Illini are averaging almost 230 yards rushing a game led by Mikel Leshoure who has 58 carries for 398 yards and 3 touchdowns. Defensively, the Illini have been decent. They are giving up 333 yards a game so far, and only have forced 4 turnovers. Remarkably, they don’t have an interception so far on defense, but have 7 sacks. Penalties and turnovers have been a problem for the Illini as they are averaging 6 penalties for 61 yards a game, and have turned the ball over 7 times. They need to improve in those areas or it could be  a long day against the Buckeyes juggernaut.

Ohio St has had some success against Illinois in Champaign, going 33-12 straight up in in the series at Illinois.  The last time Illinois beat Ohio St at home was in 1991, though they did upset the Buckeyes in Columbus in 2007 when Pryor was a senior in high school. An upset this time around would relieve some fo the pressure on Ron Zook who is trying to avoid his third straight losing season. Ohio St has aspirations of playing in the BCS National Championship game but can’t afford to stumble against an inferior conference opponent like they did last year losing at Purdue.

Maddux Sports is currently on a 71% run with our college football picks we have released for members.  This week figures to be another wallet stuffer for members on on board and we have a 20 unit game of the year on tap for Saturday.  Get these winners via our college football sports picks page of the website and have a profitable Saturday at the betting window.

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