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Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Odds - Free Pick

Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS)
NCAA Week 5
Date/Time:Friday, September 29, 2017 at 8:00 P.M. EST
Where: Memorial Stadium
TV: Fox Sports 1
by Jerbeek, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: Neb -7/Ill +7
Over/Under Total: no line

The Nebraska Cornhuskers and Illinois Fighting Illini will meet in Big 10 conference play on Friday night. Nebraska got back on the winning track in week 4 with a 27-17 win over Rutgers following a tumultuous week that saw their athletic director get fired. The Cornhuskers had high expectations for the season dashed when they lost Northern Illinois in week 3 and squarely put 3rd year coach Mike Riley on the hot seat. Nebraska struggled to hold off Rutgers but prevailed with a late comeback win. The Illini were off in week 4 following a loss to South Florida.

The Cornhuskers are led by QB Tanner Lee who is a Jr. transfer from Tulane. Lee had a lot of hype coming into the season but as struggled mightily the past 3 games throwing 9 interceptions and only 7 touchdowns in the first 4 games with 3 of those interceptions being returned for touchdowns. Nebraska is expected to use a RB committee as starting RB Tre Bryant has missed the last 2 games with injury but is hoping to be back. Bryant rushed for 192 yards in the first game of the season and was having a good game against Oregon before injuring his knee. If Bryant canít go the duties will fall to Mikale Wilbon and Devine Ozigbo. Ozigbo saw his first action of the season in week 4 and responded with 101 yards on 24 carries. Nebraska was also without their leading WR in week 4 as Stanley Morgan was expecting to play but was a game time scratch. Morgan leads the Husker receivers with 299 yards. Nebraska also has injury concerns with offensive linemen Will Farniok and David Knevel missing the last week and in the defensive secondary as Josh Kalu out.

Illinois used a QB change against South Florida as Jeff George, Jr, (a familiar name to football fans) replaced starting QB Chayce Crouch. George came in and completed 12 of 22 passes for 211 yards. Head Coach Lovie Smith has not yet committed to who will start but if it is Crouch, expect a quick hook if he starts off poorly. The rushing game is led by RB Mike Epstein who has 221 yards for 3 years. WR Mike Dudek is the leading receiver with 158 yards and 1 touchdown.

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Nebraska leaned on the rushing game in the win against Rutgers and I would expect them to try to do the same against Illinois. The Cornhuskers have averaged 4.1 yards per rush against teams that average 3.3 yards per rush. As stated the Husker passing game has been below average as they have gained 6.2 yards per pass attempt against teams that give up 6.3 yards per play. When combining that with the interceptions it explains the problems that the Cornhuskers have been having in moving the ball. Overall the Huskers are bit above average as they have gained 5.1 yards per play against teams that give up 4.7 yards per play.

Illinois has averaged 3.5 yards per rush against teams that give up 3.2 yards. In the passing game they have averaged 6.4 yards per attempt against teams that average 6.4. Overall they are averaging 4.9 yards per play against teams that give up 4.8 yards per play.

On defense, Nebraska spent a lot of money to bring in Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco. The defense struggled early, especially in the first half against Oregon when they gave up 42 points; however, the Blackshirt defense has improved immensely in the past 2 games and as actually been keeping Nebraska in games. The Nebraska defense has held opponents to 3.5 yards rushing against teams that average 4.5 yards. In the passing game they have given up 6.8 yards per attempt against teams that average 7.2 yards. Overall they have given up 5.4 yards per play against teams that average 5.8 yards indicating that overall the Huskers have been a bit above average despite the perception that they have really struggled.

The Illinois defense has given up 4.2 yards per rush against teams that average 4.0 yards. In passing the Illini have given up 6.8 yards per attempt against teams that average 7.0 yards. Overall the defense has given up 5.4 yards per play against teams that average 5.3.

This will be the 5th straight year that Nebraska and Illinois have met. The Cornhuskers have won 3 of the past 4 games by an average of 32-16. Illinois is 5-10 the past 3 years as a home team underdog. Nebraska is 5-2 the past 3 years as a road favorite.

Jerbeekís Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Cornhuskers have struggled to start the season but may have gained a little confidence in their week 4 win. I think the Huskers will use the ground game to churn out a 31-17 win. My recommendation is to play Nebraska minus the 7 points. Where are you betting this game? Does your bookie give you the the option to bet on games at -105 odds? NO! He's charging you -110 (or more!) Sports betting is a game of edges. Don't let the house get the edge on you! Start betting at discounted odds TODAY at 5Dimes Sportsbook!

NCAA Football Week 8 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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