Illinois Fighting Illini (2-8 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date and Time: Saturday, November 18th, 2017 3:30 PM ET
Where: Ohio Stadium Columbus, OH
by Keith F., Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ILL +41/BUCKS -41
Over/Under Total: 54
Though it has been an all-Ohio State affair, this game is a rivalry series and it is known as The Battle for the Illibuck Trophy. The stage is set for a huge B1G conference clash for the Buckeyes as they have been given new life after a series of events have put them on the outside track of the College Football Playoff. The Ohio State Buckeyes will host the Illinois Fighting Illini at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, November 18th, 2017. The kick-off time is slotted for 3:30 PM ET and will be televised for national audiences on ABC. This contest has conference stakes on the line as Ohio State can clinch the East Division with a win here and a Michigan loss. The Bucks would go on to face Wisconsin in the B1G Championship in two weeks if they are successful in doing so. The last meeting between the two in Champaign in 2016 was nothing short of debauchery, as the contest was settled by a 25-point margin with Ohio State winning its eighth straight victory against their rivals from two states away.
Ohio State comes into this contest off of an impressive throttling of Michigan State at home last week when the Bucks went wild on Sparty. The Buckeyes would outright embarrass the Spartans by a score of 48-3 quickly erasing the effects of what had to be one of the shockers of Week 10 when the Iowa Hawkeyes smoked the Buckeyes in Kinnick Stadium by a score of 55-24. The Buckeyes were favored by 21 points despite getting dominated on all sides by the Hawks. Ohio State has two ugly losses on their resume but despite this many are still keen on them as a potential B1G Champion and College Football Playoff outlier. A lot of things will need to go right for the Bucks to earn the latter.
There is little lustre in the Illini, as their season has been nothing short of miserable. Wins have been seldom for Lovie Smiths bunch and they have lost their last eight outings. The Oskie Wow Wows are winless in the B1G and own wins this year over Western Kentucky and Ball State. The collection of these two wins are nothing to bat an eye at. In their current losing streak, the Illini have lost seven of their eight defeats by double-digit margins. This team has simply failed to generate offense and has been outclassed by opposing attacks. The unit would be called a dumpster fire by many. However, teams like this often offer tremendous value be that the spread is inflated to entice action on them.
Currently in this market, the public have hopped all over the Buckeyes. Such an effect is likely to produced given what Ohio State had orchestrated against an up-start team such as Michigan State. According to market data, nearly all are in on Ohio State. 98% of the cash and 73% of the tickets rolling in on the Scarlet and Grey. As a result, the asking price for Ohio State has raised by a field goal. In Over/Under markets, we have seen the number drop by three points to its current position of 54 indicating action on the Under.
Last week we played on the Buckeyes by virtue of the fact they were in position to be a short-sold favorite in spite of their demise at Iowa. This week, the opposite will likely be the case. The enormous win by Ohio State has produced an overreaction likely in the direction of the Buckeyes. The amount of points here is absolutely ludicrous. Especially, considering the fact this is a rivalry game. Now, there a lot of ways this contest can produce a cover. First, the Illini can go through the backdoor if Ohio State calls off the dogs early in preparation for Michigan, next week. Secondly, the game goes four quarters because Illinois enters this venue with reckless abandon and treats it like a bowl game. This is also plausible. Even if Ohio State is the superior team and pummels Illinois, their best effort may cause them to stay under what is an extremely lofty number. Well scoop up the points.
Keiths Pick to Cover the Point Spread: ILLINOIS +41. - Move the line on this game up to 20 points by inserting it into a 20 point football teaser at the web’s best sportsbook: 5dimes!