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November

24

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College Football Gambling: Illinois down a DC and a ton of players to injury

11.07.2017     08:03 AM     Printer Friendly
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith will take over the defense this weekend against Indiana with defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson absent due to the death of his mother. After opening the season 2-0, Illinois has lost seven straight (2-5 ATS). During that span, the Illini were outscored 232-106; coming within single digits only once (24-17 loss at Minnesota). Not only has Illinois suffered from its "youth movement" but also a seemingly neverending list of injuries. Indiana meanwhile has played arguably the toughest schedule in the Big Ten with having to face Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State. But, it their one step-down-in-class spot, the Hoosiers lost outright at Maryland, 42-39, as -6.5 chalk.


A total of 18 players missed Saturday’s loss at Purdue. Of that number, 12 have started and a 13th, linebacker Jake Hansen, was on track to start before he suffered a season-ending knee injury prior to the season opener. 






Tags: College Football Illinois Fighting Illini Indiana Hoosiers Big Ten




College Football Handicapping: Illinois goes young, starts season 2-0

09.12.2017     08:10 AM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Looks like Illinois head coach Lovie Smith is doing everything in his power to NOT play players left over from the Tim Beckman regime. To his credit, the Illini are off to a 2-0 start including last week's 20-6 outright win over Western Kentucky as +6 home chalk. Illinois is currently a +18 road underdog for Friday's game at South Florida. 

 

The nine freshmen Illinois has used in its starting lineup through two games are more than any team in the country. So far, 17 true freshmen, nine redshirt freshmen, two first-time sophomores and two first-time juniors have played, making it 30 players who have made their Illini debuts in the first two games.






Tags: College Football Illinois Fighting Illini Big Ten South Florida Bulls AAC




College Football Handicapping: Illinois offense will lean on run-first quarterback

07.26.2017     08:20 AM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
New quarterback and a new-look offense for Illinois this season as second year head coach Lovie Smith announced Chayce Crouch as the team's starting quarterback. Crouch has been with the program for four years, gone through three coaches and attempted only 65 passes. His claim to fame is an ability to run the football. Crouch racked up 137 yards on 17 carries in last year's loss (LOL!) to Purdue. Here's a good article on what bettors can expect from Illinois' offense this season including perhaps a faster tempo.


 In just over two quarters of play, Crouch was 10-for-14 passing for 142 yards to go along with 17 carries for 137 yards and two scores. He used his bulldozing style of running (with his 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame) to become Illinois' diet-diet-diet version of Tim Tebow for one afternoon in October.

After scoring just six points before Lunt's injury, the Illini tallied 25 points with Crouch at the helm and rushed for a staggering 315 yards as a team on the day. Crouch's, and

Read more



Tags: College Football Illinois Fighting Illini Big Ten




College Basketball Betting Free Play: Valparaiso Crusaders at Illinois Fighting Illini

03.14.2017     11:16 AM     Drew Martin     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Drew Martin

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Valparaiso at Illinois -9 O/U 140
Recommendation: Illinois


Valparaiso accepted the last at-large bid into the NIT tournament as a 7th seed and will face second seed Illinois. The Crusaders return to the court for the first time since they scored just 12 points in the first half of an evental 43-41 loss to UW-Milwaukee in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League tournament.

Illinois (18-14) enters the NIT in a unique spot as interim coach Jamall Walker take over after John Groce was fired over the weekend. The good news for Illinois is that the Crusaders' best player, Alec Peters, is out with an injury. Peters led Valpo with 23 ppg and 10 rpg. He's a Big Ten caliber player and one that is likely to have him name called in the NBA Draft. Not having to account for Peters gives an already solid Illinois defense a big edge.

Here's what Walker had to say about the situation: "It's the NIT," Walker said. " It's who's prepared and ready to play. Who's excited to play, who wants to play more than anything else." Walker says expects his players, especially the seniors, to go out with a bang. He compares his team to a Read more



Tags: College Basketball Valparaiso Crusaders Illinois Fighting Illini Drew Martin




College Basketball Betting Free Play: Northwestern Wildcats at Illinois Fighting Illini

02.21.2017     11:43 AM     Rob Veno     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Rob Veno

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Northwestern -1.5 at Illinois O/U 135
Recommendation: Northwestern


Second meeting of this in-state battle between Northwestern and Illinois. In the previous contest, two weeks ago in Evanston, the Illini walked out with a 68-61 victory so expect the NU group to be revenge-minded tonight. The Wildcats were minus star guard Scottie Lindsey in the initial matchup but he returned to the starting lineup Saturday and played 24 minutes. With Lindsay back, not only does Northwestern have the leading scorer (15.0 ppg) on the floor tonight but his presence also boosts their defense significantly. Lindsay combined with Vic Law gives NU arguably the best set of wing defenders in the Big Ten which should make life a bit tougher on the Fighting Illini’s perimeter shooting this time around.

Northwestern kept Illinois interior threat Maverick Morgan pretty quiet in the initial meeting holding him to 5-of-12 shooting and only two free throw attempts but the Illini nailed 42% (8-of-21) from three-point land. Have to believe Lindsay’s presence will help quiet the Illinois guards and wing players who accounted for 56 points last Read more



Tags: College Basketball Northwestern Wildcats Illinois Fighting Illini Big Ten Rob Veno




College Football Betting Preview: Illinois Fighting Illini at Nebraska Cornhuskers

09.28.2016     09:53 AM     Alex Smith     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Alex Smith

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Illinois at Nebraska
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT - BTN
CRIS Opener:
Nebraska -21 O/U 55.5
CRIS Current: Nebraska -21 O/U 54
Recommendation: Nebraska

It's homecoming Weekend in Lincoln as the Nebraska Cornhuskers play host to Illinois. Nebraska improved to 4-0 after a 24-13 victory at Northwestern last week. With the win, Nebraska entered the AP ranking at No. 20 for the first time since the end of the 2014 season. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. had a monster game, picking up a 379 total yards while running back Terell Newby chipped in 69 yards and a touchdown.

Illinois is coming off a bye week after dropping a 34-10 decision to Western Michigan. The Broncos outrushed the Illini by a whopping 287-3 margin. Despite efforts in the first two games to spark their rushing attack, Lovie Smith's squad attempted 43 passes compared to 10 rushes due to playing from behind the entire game. Smith clearly has his work cut out for him moving forward. In blowout losses to North Carolina and Western Michigan, the Illini were outgained 899-624 (7.3 ypp-4.8 ypp). It's not a positive sign considering the Illini Read more



Tags: College Football Illinois Fighting Illini Nebraska Cornhuskers Big Ten Alex B. Smith




College Football Handicapping: Hard to get excited about the Lovie Smith era at Illinois

08.01.2016     08:17 AM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
If Illinois isn't on your list of teams to fade early in the season, it should be. First-year head coach with little to no college experience. First-year offensive and defensive coordinators. Huge question marks at the quarterback position. A run-first offense behind a suspect offensive line. And lack of depth at the running back position. Good luck, Lovie.




Tags: College Football Illinois Fighting Illini Big Ten




College Basketball Betting Free Pick: Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Illinois Fighting Illini

02.16.2016     07:44 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Rutgers at Illinois
Recommendation: First half Under 68


Rutgers, who has struggled to score for much of the season, will be without the Big Ten's top "usage" player in Corey Sanders (suspended). Sanders leads the Scarlet Knights in virtually every offensive statistical category and netted 39 points in the team's triple OT loss to Illinois two weeks ago. It's not just Sanders' point production that will be missed but also a player who dominates the ball throughout the game. I think a lot of Sanders' production is of the de facto variety but his absence will likely be felt. As for Illinois, injuries have become such a problem that the team is now experimenting with Malcolm Hill at point guard. Hill is Illinois' top offensive weapon and rather than playing him off the ball and working to get him shots, he's being asked to run the offense and score. The move didn't exactly pan out on Saturday as Hill failed to reach double-digits for the first time this season and the Illini were held to a season-low 56 at Northwestern. So why did this total get steamed from 141.5 to 145? Well, you have two of the league's worst defenses involved for starters. Read more



Tags: College Basketball Rutgers Scarlet Knights Illinois Fighting Illini Andrew Lange




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23


 
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