College Football Odds & Pick: Sharps Take Action on Illinois vs. Rutgers


Joe Robbins/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Epstein

  • Illinois will take on Rutgers in a Big Ten battle in an effort to pick up its first win.
  • Sharps have taken notice on one side ahead of kickoff.
  • Danny Donahue breaks down which side big bettors have played.

Illinois vs. Rutgers Odds

Illinois Odds +6
Rutgers Odds -6
Over/Under 51
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV Big Ten Network
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With an opening win over Michigan State followed by 20+ point outputs against both undefeated teams in the Big Ten East, Rutgers has gained some respect in the betting market. Well, at least enough to be closed to a touchdown favorite over an 0-3 Illinois averaging 15 points per game.

But is this number accurate? Do the Scarlet Knights deserve this treatment, or is this an overreaction to a small sample?

Our PRO Report makes it clear how the sharps, and our projections, are answering that question.

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Illinois vs. Rutgers PRO Report

This line has done a bit of bouncing since it’s been available, but one thing’s certain: any movement toward Illinois has been a result of sharp action. And our projection suggests good reason for that.

Sharp Action

It took almost the entire week, but sharps finally came down hard on the Illini on Friday.

They triggered three Sports Insights Bet Signals — which track and record instances of market movement caused specifically by sharp action — on Illinois and moved this line from the listed +6.5 down to +6, and in some cases even +5.5. And that movement came despite just 28% of bettors having faith in the road dog.

Sharp Action edge: Illinois

Big Money

Speaking of that 28%, while they may be in the minority, the money they’ve generated has not been. In fact, they’ve accounted for 67% of the cash landing on this spread.

Of course, that creates a bit of a monetary liability, but perhaps more importantly, it means the much bigger bettors — the ones more likely to be sharps — are among the 28%.

Big Money edge: Illinois

Model Projection

Sharps aren’t the only ones thinking this spread is a bit too high. Our model pegs this game at Illinois +2.3, giving plenty of value to the Illini, especially considering the discrepancy runs through a key number (+3).

Model Projection edge: Illinois

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