College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Charlotte vs. Illinois: Will Illini Cruise to Victory?

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Charlotte vs. Illinois: Will Illini Cruise to Victory? article feature image

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  • Illinois hosts Charlotte as it looks to snap its four-game losing streak.
  • The 49ers (3-1) are coming off a shootout victory over Middle Tennessee.
  • Kyle Remillard previews the game and offers up his best bet.

Charlotte vs. Illinois Odds

Charlotte Odds+10.5 (-115)
Illinois Odds-10.5 (-105)
Moneyline+330 / -435
Over/Under54 (-110 / -110)
Time12 p.m. ET
TVBig Ten Network
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Illinois kicked off the college football season — and Brett Bielema's tenure — with a conference win over Nebraska. Since then, the Fighting Illini have lost four in a row and look to get back on track against the Charlotte 49ers.

Illinois has seen its offense struggle recently as its averaging just 13.3 points per game over the last three weeks. Two of those losses came without starting quarterback Brandon Peters, who was injured in the season opener.

The Fighting Illini have had one of the tougher schedules through five weeks, facing off against Nebraska, Virginia, Maryland and Purdue.

They match up against a Charlotte team who is 3-1 but has faced a much easier strength of schedule thus far. According to Collin Wilson's Power Ratings, Charlotte defeated 93rd-ranked Duke, FCS opponent Gardner-Webb, and snuck past 109th-ranked Middle Tennessee.

They were unable to slow down 94th-ranked Georgia State's rushing attack in a demoralizing 20-7 defeat.

How Charlotte is able to handle the big bodies of a Big Ten offensive and defensive front is going to be pivotal in this matchup.

Charlotte vs. Illinois Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 2
12 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network

Charlotte 49ers

Charlotte Offense

It took a career night from Chris Reynolds, who threw for four passing touchdowns and ran in the game-winner, to defeat Middle Tennessee.

Reynolds is the heartbeat of this offense as he's averaging 8.3 yards per attempt and 12 total touchdowns to just two interceptions. He’s faced some of the weaker defenses in the country and this will be his first competent opponent of the season.

The offense splits the carries among a trio of running backs, who combine to average 4.8 yards per carry. The 49ers own a Rush Rate of 58%, yet rank 83rd in Rushing Success and 90th in Line Yards.

They will struggle moving the ball on the ground against the much bigger Illinois front-seven and will be reliant on the arm of Reynolds to move the chains in this game.

Charlotte Defense

The defense hasn’t faced the stiffest of competition yet but still managed to allow over 500 yards of offense per game. They’ve been bad against the pass — allowing 9.2 yards per attempt — but even worse in their inability to stop the run.

They rank 126th, allowing 6.6 yards per rushing attempt and over 250 yards on the ground per game.

The 49ers trailed Georgia State by six with eight minutes to play in Week 2. Charlotte allowed 13 straight runs that chewed seven minutes off the clock and sealed the victory for Georgia State. They ultimately let Georgia State score because they had no chance of stopping the rushing attack.

They'll have little chance of slowing down Josh McCray in this game.

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Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois Offense

After averaging 30 points per game in their first two contests, the Fighting Illini have managed just 13 over the last three games.

Peters hasn’t looked great since returning from his shoulder injury. Through three games, he’s averaging just 5.6 yards per pass attempt, completing 48% of his passes and hasn't thrown a touchdown.

Luckily for this offense, they saw a spark from freshman running back McCray last game, who averaged 6.5 yards per carry on 24 carries. McCray is 6-foot-1, 240-pound bulldozer.

He’s poised to have a big game against a Charlotte defense that ranks 110th in Rushing Success and been shredded on the ground all season.

Illinois Defense

Illinois has allowed over 100 total points in its first three games but has shown improvement over the last two weeks.

The Illini held an explosive Maryland offense to 20 points and last time out, they held Purdue to just 13. In those two games, they held opponents to just 3.2 yards per carry on 53 attempts.

The Fighting Illini rank 119th in Defensive Passing Success Rate and are allowing 8.4 yards per pass attempt. But keep in mind, they’ve played some of the top quarterbacks in the country in Brennan Armstrong, Taulia Tagovailoa, and Adrian Martinez.

The defense ranks 12th in the nation in takeaways with nine through five games.

That trend should continue as the defensive front will wreak Havoc against the smaller Charlotte offensive line.

Charlotte vs. Illinois Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Charlotte and Illinois match up statistically:

Charlotte Offense vs. Illinois Defense




Rush Success8393
Line Yards90107
Pass Success53119
Pass Blocking**8160
Big Play32107
Finishing Drives4084
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Illinois Offense vs. Charlotte Defense




Rush Success71110
Line Yards69115
Pass Success11255
Pass Blocking**82103
Big Play108111
Finishing Drives11268
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling10377
PFF Coverage10674
Middle 88042
SP+ Special Teams755
Plays per Minute11369
Rush Rate58.1% (50)55.2% (65)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Charlotte vs. Illinois Betting Pick

The Charlotte defense is in for a rude awakening against the big and experienced offensive line of Illinois.

The Fighting Illini offensive line returns four seniors and a junior that have a combined 143 starts under their belt.

Look for a heavy dose of McCray as Charlotte will have no answer for slowing down this rushing attack.

The Illinois defense has faced some of the top quarterbacks in the nation and won’t have an issue with containing Reynolds.

This is the final out-of-conference opponent for Illinois and is a perfect opportunity for its offense to have a breakout game before heading into Big Ten play.

Pick: Illinois -10.5 (Play to -11)

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