Illinois at Nebraska
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT - BTN
CRIS Opener: Nebraska -21 O/U 55.5
CRIS Current: Nebraska -21 O/U 54
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 actually outgained their opponents last year 5.9-5.6 ypp.
The Illini have been money burners as road underdogs over the last four seasons with a dismal 3-12 ATS mark. And while this pointspread is rarified air (Ilinois was catching a modest +10.5 at Iowa LY), Nebraska holds significant talent edges on both sides of the ball. Also note that Illinois won last year's matchup, 14-13 in Champaign. Nebraska was able to win the rushing battle (187-131) but Armstrong Jr. had his worst game of the season (10-of-31, 105 yards) and Nebraska coughed up the ball on multiple occasions. The Cornhuskers are in a far better place and look primed to dominate this matchup start to finish.