Free Week 1 Prediction: Cardinals vs Fighting Illini Odds
Looking for Ball State Cardinals vs. Illinois Fighting Illini free picks? Week 1 betting sees the Cardinals taking on the Fighting Illini Saturday, September 2nd at Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Illinois. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this Ball State Illinois free pick.
College Football Handicapping: Week 1
(0-0) Ball State Cardinals vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (0-0)
Date: Saturday, September 2nd
Time: 12:00 pm EST
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Illinois
NCAA Football Spread: Illinois -7.5
NCAA Betting Total: OFF
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We have finally reached week one of the college football season with a full plate of games. The best part of a new season is that every team feels like they can have a good season, and that this is the season where they can reach all their goals.
One of the games to take place in week one takes place at Memorial Stadium. The Ball State Cardinals come to town to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini.
This is the first meeting between the teams since 2007 when the Fighting Illini come out on top by a final score of 28-17.
Ball State Cardinals
Mike Neu will lead the Ball State Cardinals this year in his second year as the head coach at his alma mater. In his first year he led the team to a 4-8 record, and the goals this year will be to make a bowl game.
Riley Neal will be under center for his second year for the Cardinals. Last year he showed some really good signs, but also had some struggles as you would expect from any young quarterback.
He threw for 13 touchdowns, but also had 12 interceptions, and that number is really going to need to increase, if he wants to take a step forward, and help the team take that step forward.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals can’t get much worse. They ranked dead last in defense in the MAC, and a lot of that was because they had problems creating turnovers.
On the season they only created 14 turnovers, and that has been an emphasis this off season.
Illinois Fighting Illini
It wasn’t quite the season Lovie Smith had hoped for last year, in his first year with the Illinois Fighting Illini.
After the team had five wins the previous year, he came in and could only muster out two.
The Illini were already dealt a huge blow this off season too. They were expecting that Virginia Tech transfer Dwayne Lawson would be the new starting quarterback.
But he was ruled ineligible and can’t enroll at the school yet, so they will have to wait until at least next year for him to come to campus, if he ever does come.
That leaves them struggling at the quarterback position. They are either going to have to go really young, or they will have to go with a more experienced option, that hasn’t had a ton of success.
Whoever is behind center in this game, will need to have a good game. They can’t overlook this Cardinals team, because if they do, they will lose.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Under is 13-4 in BALL last 17 games on fieldturf.
- BALL are 52-22 ATS in their last 74 road games.
- ILL are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 vs. MAC.
Free Week 1 NCAA Football Pick
It’s usually not a good sign when you are only favored by 7.5 against a mid major that only won four games the previous year, but that’s what the Fighting Illini are up against in the season opening game.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Ball State + 7.5
I think talent wise the Illini are a bit better and that will give them a little advantage.
The Illini win, but the Cardinals Cover.
Week 1 Free Score Prediction: Illini 21 – Cardinals 17
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