Free NCAA Football Prediction: Cornhuskers vs. Fighting Illini Odds
Looking for Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini free picks? College football betting sees the Cornhuskers taking on the Fighting Illini on Saturday, August 28th at Memorial Stadium in Champagne, Illinois. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football game Week 1 predictions like this Nebraska Illinois free pick.
College Football Handicapping Analysis: Week 1
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
Date: Saturday, August 28th, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm EST
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Champagne, Illinois
NCAA Football ATS Spread Odds: Cornhuskers -7, Fighting lllini +7
NCAA Football Moneyline Odds: Nebraska -261 | Fighting Illini +216
NCAA Betting Total Odds: O/U 55
This is the first game of the season for both teams and the first conference game of the year too.
Both of these teams are looking to prove that there are better days ahead. Especially at Nebraska where off-the-field talk is not good.
Illinois can move at a slower pace as they just hired a new coach this offseason. Albeit one with a lot of familiarity with the Big Ten.
The Scott Frost era is looking for a turnaround. They need to get it started without delay too. The question is whether they can get it going on the road.
QB Adrian Martinez is one of the most experienced in the league but throughout his time in Lincoln, he has experienced lots of losing. He can be an effective dual-threat but often has been part of their problems.
If Nebraska is going to be significantly improved this season it might be because of the defense. It was about average last season and with 9 starters returning there is optimism there.
On paper, it looks like the Cornhuskers are the better team but at the same time, they lost 41-23 to Illinois last season. An Illini team that jettisoned their coach.
Illinois Fighting Illini
Illinois could no have done better than bringing in Brett Bielema to coach the Illini. He is not walking into a situation that will be easy to win in but I think he eventually gets it done.
The team is already built to cater to his strengths with a running game that was third in the conference a year ago and returns all of its top rushers and 4 offensive linemen.
QB Brandon Peters is not elite but he has experience and in limited action did not throw an interception. The offense averaged only 20ppg last season and they need more points to take some pressure off a defense that is still the weak link.
Illinois gave up 34ppg a year ago and that was with avoiding some of the better offensive teams in the conference. They have a bunch of returning talent on that side too it is just not clear if that is a good or bad thing.
With all due respect to the previous regime, it is tough to go from the NFL to college where there are so many more things to worry about. The knock against Lovie Smith is that he was not really all in. Bielema will be and we will see that from day one.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Under is 4-0 in Cornhuskers last 4 games overall.
- Under is 4-0 in Cornhuskers last 4 conference games.
- Under is 6-0 in Cornhuskers last 6 road games.
- Fighting Illini are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in August.
- Fighting Illini are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Free Week 1 NCAA Football Pick
I am actually more bullish on Illinois than I thought I would be heading into the season. I think this could be a great debut for the new coach.
4* Free Week 1 NCAA Betting Pick: Illinois +7
The key to the game is going to be whether the Illini can run the ball. I think they will have success doing so and that will give them a chance to get the game going the way they want. All the way to a win.
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