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Illinois vs. Missouri Preview & Pick

Illinois Fighting Illini vs Missouri Tigers Gambling Preview + Predictions

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Illinois vs. Missouri CFB Lines

No cream puffs for Illinois or Missouri, as these two BCS conference schools face each other in the opening game of their 2010 college football seasons.

Date/Time: 12:30 PM Saturday, September 4, 2010
Venue: Edward Jones Dome, St, Louis MO
Illinois vs. Missouri Lines
MoneyLine: Missouri -550 / Illinois +400
Spread:
Over/Under: 53.5
Bet now at JustBet.com —->

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Missouri Tigers Preview

The college football odds for this game has the Tigers as 11.5 point favorites against an Illinois team that is coming off a tough season, which is a major understatement. Last season the Fighting Illini were only 3-9 including losing their last 3 games. The Fighting Illini may have a little payback in mind, as they also opened the season last season against Mizzu, who laid a beat down on Illinois crushing them 37-9.

Nobody is really talking about Missouri being a threat to win the Big 12 title, but they are a solid team on both sides of the ball and have a dynamic offense.

This game is important for both teams, as each plays a tough conference schedule. Illinois is in the Big 10 and has to face conference foes Ohio State and Penn State and Mizzu is in the Big 12 and has to play Nebraska and Oklahoma. All of the aforementioned teams Illinois and Missouri play are ranked in the pre-season top-25.

The main reason that the CFB odds have Mizzu as a pretty big favorite is QB Blaine Gabbert and a loaded Tigers’ LB corps.

The Mizzu offense should be solid, once again, led by the strong-armed Gabbert, who is a rising star in the college ranks. Last season he threw for 3,593 yards and 24 TD and had 9 INT. His top 2 WR threats are gone, but the lone starter returning is 6’4” 225 lb Wes Kemp (23 rec 418 yards 3 TD last season) and he and speedster Jerrell Jackson will be a major handful for the Illinois secondary.

Senior Tigers RB Derrick Washington had 865 yards and 10 TD last season, which were numbers that were down from 2008. He is also a pass-catching threat out of the backfield with 65 career catches for 503 yards and 3 TD in his career in a Mizzu uniform.

One key for the Tigers in this game and for the season is their stellar offensive line. They only gave up 20 sacks in 467 pass attempts last season and they may be better this season.

This game is not a good match up for Illinois on D, as their weakness is their pass rush and last season the Fighting Illini only had a grand total of 5 INT’s. That is not good facing Gabbert and a solid Tigers passing attack.

Illinois’ offense is led by Redshirt freshman QB Nathan Scheelhaase, who is a duel threat QB and while he is talented he lacks experience. His top targets are A.J. Jenkins and Jarred Fayson, who are talented, but last season only combined for 37 receptions for 628 yards and 3 TD.

With an inexperienced QB and the need to control the clock and keep the high-powered offense of the Tigers on the sidelines there is a lot of pressure on RB Mikel Leshoure (734 yards 5 TD last season).

Speaking of pressure there is also a lot on the Illinois offensive line. They are a young, talented, and big bunch, but they need to play well on the field and not just look good on paper. Every offensive lineman for Illinois is at least 6’5” and 305 pounds and they have to be solid in both pass protection and opening up holes for the rushing attack or they will be in trouble. Last season the Illinois O-line gave up 29 sacks.

The Mizzu defense is a solid one and one of their main strengths is pressuring the QB with DL Jacquies Smith and Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year DL Aldon Smith. The LB’s corps is a group of big hitters that are great at tackling and they are very intimidating.

The one thing that Illini have going for them is that the Mizzu D is not the best at pass coverage and if the Illini offensive line can give protect Scheelhaase and the young QB has a good game Illinois has a chance to win this game.

Illinois is no pushover, but Missouri simply has way too much talent, especially on offense. Mizzu will go out and show why they have a legit shot to get to their 3rd Big 12 title game in the last 4 years.

Illinois vs Missouri Betting Trends:

Illinois is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home
Illinois is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Missouri
Missouri is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Illinois
Missouri is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Missouri is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Missouri’s last 6 games
Illinois is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games
Illinois is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home

Pick: Missouri -11.5

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Comments

Comments

  1. It’s Mizzou, not Mizzu!

  2. But of course

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