Michigan Wolverines (5-2) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (5-2)

Michigan Wolverines (5-2) -3, o/u no line vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (5-2) 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Saturday, October 20, 2007 on ABC.
by Jerald of Predictem.com

The Michigan Wolverines will meet the Illinois Fighting Illini in this Big 10 matchup. Michigan has bounced back from early season disappointments to reenter the rankings at #25. Illinois is coming off a disappointing loss to Iowa, 6-10, and hopes to find their way back to winning in their quest for the Big 10 title.

Michigan has won the last 5 meetings between these teams and has averaged 42 points a game in those 5 games
Michigan is led by Senior QB Chad Henne who has completed 61.7% of his passes for 1,057 yards, 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. The ground attack is led by Mike Hart who has rushed for 1,078 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns. Hart is battling injuries but is expected to play.

Illinois is led by Sophomore QB Juice Williams who has completed 55.5% of his passes for 716 yards, 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. The rushing attack is led by Rashard Mendenhall who has rushed for 625 yards (6.0 yards per carry) and 9 touchdowns.

Michigan ranks 46th in total offense with an average of 201.3 yards rushing (4.42 yards per rush) and 206.7 yards passing per game. They rank 50th in scoring offense averaging 28.6 points per game. The Fighting Illini offense ranks 56th in total offense averaging 243.4 yards rushing (5.51 yards per carry) and 151.1 yards passing. Illinois ranks 65th in scoring offense averaging 26.7 points per game.

The Wolverines defense ranks 38th in total defense giving up an average of 126.9 yards rushing (3.52 yards per carry) and 212.1 yards passing per game. They rank 30th in scoring defense giving up an average of 20.1 points per game. Illinois ranks 53rd in total defense giving up 106.4 yards rushing (2.98 yards per carry) and 255.4 yards passing. They rank 21st in scoring defense giving up 18.6 points per game.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rank the Wolverines 20th at 81.28. Illinois ranks 34th at 78.28.

Michigan opened up as a 3.5 point favorite. Most online sports betting websites have dropped the point spread to Michigan -3. At the time of this writing, the public was backing the Wolverines 75%-25%.

The Predictem Pick: In this situation we have the public backing the favorite but the line going down. We like this situation and will back Illinois plus the points.

Illinois 27 Michigan 20