Free Week 12 Prediction: Fighting Illini vs Golden Gophers Odds
Week 12 College football betting sees the Illinois Fighting Illini taking on the Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday November 21st at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
Illinois Fighting Illini (5-5) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-6)
Date: Saturday, November 21st
Time: 12:00 PM
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
NCAA Football Spread: Minnesota -4.5
NCAA Betting Total: 47.0
Updated Sportsbook Bonuses For Today
These two Big Ten teams have been mildly disappointing as both have struggled to be any sort of threat in the conference. With three Big Ten wins between the two of them, Minnesota and Illinois will look to this game as an opportunity to make a late bowl berth push.
Both teams sit at 5-5 ATS this season and have provided models of inconsistency on both sides of the ball. While Minnesota is the home favorite, they haven’t felt the feeling of winning since October 10th.
Illinois’s most recent win was two weeks ago but it was to the same inferior opponent as Minnesota’s – Purdue.
Despite what the stats might show, Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt hasn’t done much to put Illinois in opportunities to win football games.
Sure, he sports a 12:4 touchdown to interception ratio but he only is completing 55 percent of his passes at less than 6 yards per attempt.
He has only thrown three touchdowns in the last four games combined and they all came in one game – a win at Purdue.
Despite their 48-14 win at Purdue, the Fighting Illini have struggled on the road – losing their other three road games by an average of 27.3 points per game.
Lunt could have an even tougher time getting something going against a Minnesota defense that is allowing just 183 passing yards per game.
Illinois will likely be without running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn who is recovering from a concussion. If that is the case, they’ll need to rely on Josh Ferguson who has accumulated 563 rushing yards to Vaughn’s 661.
A thing to keep an eye on is Illinois’s special teams play. Their offense has struggled from time to time so that will contribute but they are allowing the fourth most punt return yards per game in the country with 297.
They have been punting frequently but the inability to put an opposing offense deep in their own territory can wear out a defense.
They’ll need Lunt to be better and Ferguson to step up if they want to keep themselves alive for a bowl bid.
Despite currently sitting at 4-6, Minnesota does have a shot at receiving a bowl bid. However, a game against Wisconsin next week makes this game with Illinois a must win.
Regardless of whether or not Minnesota can get into a bowl game (a 5-7 record would make it highly unlikely), the Golden Gophers will certainly like to salvage something from this mostly forgettable season.
Quarterback Mitch Leidner has been much too inconsistent for Minnesota’s offense and as a result, they haven’t been able to capitalize on their (mostly) strong defense. Leidner has two games where he has completed less than 50 percent of his passes while also posting completion percentages over 70 percent in two other games.
However, the games he has struggled in have been against very good Big 10 defenses. He was 10/21 with 72 yards and an interception against the Northwestern’s great defense.
Also, he was 16/33 but for 317 yards and an touchdown against Michigan – a game that the Golden Gophers nearly won.
Minnesota has been very competitive at home despite the 4-6 overall record. They are 2-3 at home with two of those losses coming to Michigan and TCU by a combined 9 points.
If Minnesota wants to win this game and keep themselves alive for bowl eligibility, they will need Leidner to play at a high level – something he is certainly capable of.
Despite four straight losses, they have been competitive with some of the best in the country. Despite falling down 21-0, the Golden Gophers came storming back against Ohio State to cut the lead to 7 with over 2 minutes to play.
A late touchdown by the Buckeyes pushed the deficit 14 but Minnesota played a solid all around football game. While moral victories are worth nothing in the Big 10 (or any conference for that matter), Minnesota also took undefeated Iowa to the wire only to fall 40-35.
The defense has been very good most of the season and they should be the same on Saturday against an Illinois offense that hasn’t seem to found its identity. Not to mention they could be without their starting running back.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Illinois is 4-7 ATS in their last 11 games as a road underdog.
- Illinois is 1-3 ATS this season following a loss.
- Minnesota is 7-2 ATS since the start of last season in games following a loss.
- Minnesota is 10-4 ATS in conference games since the start of last season.
Free Week 12 NCAA Football Prediction
With both teams playing for bowl bids, there should be some urgency. Leidner has been playing at a high level against quality Big 10 defenses. Illinois isn’t exactly a quality Big 10 defense and Minnesota should be able to exploit that.
7* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Minnesota -4.5
This shouldn’t be a blowout because Minnesota doesn’t exactly have that putaway ability but the Golden Gophers will keep their bowl hopes alive for at least another week.
Week 12 Free Score Prediction: Minnesota 31 – Illinois 20
We’ll be providing 7* free College football predictions on the blog all season long, and check out our Experts for guaranteed premium & free CFB Football picks!
CappersPicks.com has College football odds up on a ton of futures, and you will also find NCAA football lines up for early games as well.