Penn State Nittany Lions vs Illinois Fighting Illini predictions

Despite Illinois’ potential situational advantage, Penn State’s ongoing dominance and their significant talent disparity are expected to make them the predominant force in their upcoming match. Read on for our free match preview and betting picks.

illinois
Match Live Saturday 16 Sept, 12:00 PM ET
DAYS
Hr
Min
Sec
Key Stats
– Penn State outgained FCS Delaware by a margin of 541-140.
– Illinois’ defense ranks notably low, allowing 76.2% of opposing drives to end in a significant gain or touchdown.
– Penn State boasts an impressive start, outscoring their opponents 101-22 in the initial games.
BettingPicks Expert Predictions

Penn State -14 Win (-110)

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Penn State Nittany Lions vs Illinois Fighting Illini predictions: A Comparative Analysis

The Lions Roar in the Season’s Start

The Penn State Nittany Lions have made an explosive entrance this season, with their Week 2 triumph over FCS Delaware being a testament to their prowess. The Lions outshined the Blue Hens with a significant margin of 541-140 and gave them a minimal room to convert on third downs, with only 2 out of 11 attempts being successful. The season has seen Penn State accumulate a whopping 101 points over their opponents’ 22, clearly stating their dominance. Furthermore, their performance against the spread (ATS) in these contests is an immaculate 2-0.

Illinois’ Struggles

Contrastingly, the Fighting Illini are yet to find their footing. With an 0-2 score against the spread, they were a mere moment away from a straight-up 0-2 after narrowly escaping defeat through a last-minute field goal. Their recent away game at Kansas further highlighted their challenges as they lagged behind by almost 200 yards, and the Jayhawks averaged an impressive 6 yards per rush attempt. Their third-down conversion rate was a concerning factor, especially when contrasted with their Week 1 performance against Toledo.

The Falling Defense of the Illini

One can’t overlook Illinois’ defensive gaps this year. Losing their coordinator and key NFL players like Devon Witherspoon, Sydney Brown, Isaac Darkangelo, and Jartavius Martin has dealt a significant blow to their defensive line. New coordinator Aaron Henry, while experienced, is grappling with play-calling duties for the first time. Defensive metrics highlight Illinois’ struggles. They rank significantly low in defensive drive efficiency and points per drive allowed. Another worrying statistic is that they have conceded a major part of non-garbage time drives to culminate in at least 30 yards or touchdowns in their first two weeks.

Looking Ahead

The upcoming matchup poses a potential advantage for Illinois with Penn State possibly being preoccupied with their upcoming primetime Whiteout game against Iowa. However, based on Illinois’ defense, relying on this angle might be too optimistic. Penn State’s offensive prowess, bolstered by players like Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen, coupled with Drew Allar’s potential success against Illinois’ secondary, makes Penn State a dominant force. Additionally, their defense might prove too overwhelming for the Fighting Illini.

While the matchup signifies Penn State’s first road and conference game, the discernible talent gap might tilt the scales in their favor. Penn State’s coach, James Franklin, known for his relentless approach, will probably not let up, ensuring the Lions’ roar remains deafening

BettingPicks Expert Predictions

Penn State -14 Win (-110)

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Carl Tarver
Born and raised in Denver and a former college baseball player, I'm an avid fan of prop bets, especially on the NBA, NHL, NFL, and NCAA. looking to find an edge by any means necessary. As a lifelong Nuggets fan, I promise to be very impartial when the Nuggets are not involved!