Week 1: Golden Flashes vs Fighting Illini Odds
College football betting sees the Kent State Golden Flashes taking on the Illinois Fighting Illini Friday September 4th 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.
The drama has already embarked on the Illinois Fighting Illini as they get set to welcome in the Kent State Golden Flashes out of the MAC in Week 1.
Illinois fired head coach Tim Beckman on August 28th after an external investigation was placed upon the university. The reports that surfaced say Beckman was forcing injured players to participate in tough drills during practices.
Now, interim head coach Bill Cubit will look to overcome all the turmoil and get the Illini focused on the upcoming season. Cubit was the offensive coordinator and will serve as full time head coach until the Fighting Illini determine whether or not he should stay for the tenure of the season.
As for Kent State, they try to recover from a 2-9 2014 campaign that saw them absolutely struggle on both sides of the ball almost every game.
The Golden Flashes 2-9 season was pretty much miserable. They lacked any sort of offensive production and saw teams run up and down the field on them defensively.
They do welcome back one of the best RBs in the MAC, who they will rely heavily on in 2015.
Senior RB Trayion Durham was the most dangerous Golden Flashes player of the past 3 seasons. Durham has averaged 4.2 yards per carry over the past 3 seasons and rushed overall for 2712 yards.
To go along with his yards, Durham has rushed for 24 touchdowns in his time at Kent State.
Junior QB Colin Reardon could not have had a much worse 2014 campaign as he had more interceptions than touchdowns. Reardon threw 16 interceptions compared to just 14 touchdowns.
The Fighting Illini interim head coach Bill Cubit talked to the media and told them he wants to banish the bad reputation the university now has and ask the fans to band together to get behind the players.
While if the drama wasn’t enough for Cubit, he walks into a situation where he has just a bad offense and defense.
In 2014 the Fighting Illini allowed a Big 10 high 34 points a game and saw opponents rush for 239.2 yards a game.
If that wasn’t bad enough, their rushing attack averaged a mere 117.5 yards. However, the main highlight to their offense came from the passing game. Illinois had the 2nd best air attack in the Big 10 and will have a healthy Junior QB back in West Lunt.
At RB, Josh Ferguson had 3105 yards total in both rushing and receiving. While they struggled a lot during their 6-7 2014 campaign, the Fighting Illini have a lot of reason for optimism with some solid playmakers returning offensively.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
Golden Flashes are 5-1-2 ATS in their last 8 Friday games.
Golden Flashes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Golden Flashes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on fieldturf
Fighting Illini are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 vs. MAC.
Fighting Illini are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
Week 1 NCAA Football Prediction
Kent State isn’t a dominant or overpowering team. They are a much improved team though coming into this season. Combine that with all the turmoil unfolding at Illinois and this game could be a big distraction.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Kent State +14.5
Not saying Kent State can pull off the outright upset here, but they certainly will have a chance as they should be able to keep this one close.
Week 9 Score Prediction: Illinois 24- Kent State 17
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