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Illinois vs Michigan Odds & Predictions: Betting Value on Over/Under

Illinois vs Michigan Odds & Predictions: Betting Value on Over/Under article feature image
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Gaelen Morse/Getty Images. Pictured: The Michigan Wolverines.

Illinois vs Michigan Odds

Saturday, Nov. 19
12 p.m. ET
ABC
Illinois Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+17
-110
42.5
-110o / -110u
+675
Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-17
-110
42.5
-110o / -110u
-975
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The goal’s pretty straightforward for Michigan: Keep demolishing opponents and make it to the College Football Playoff for the second year in a row.

The penultimate game before The Game against Ohio State features the Wolverines as three-score chalk over an improved yet sliding Illinois squad.

Jim Harbaugh’s playoff team a year ago outscored foes by 18.4 points per game. This year, it’s been complete and utter dominance, as Michigan trails only the Buckeyes nationally in average scoring margin per game (+30.2).

Is this a prototypical trap spot for the Wolverines with their arch-rival on deck? Or will Harbaugh’s squad roll its opponent from the Big Ten West.

Neither — it’s the over/under that can be exploited.


Illinois Fighting Illini

Running back Chase Brown is trending in the right direction to play Saturday, which is one of the biggest non-quarterback injuries in Week 12.

In a modern era where “Running Backs Don’t Matter can be stretched into a formidable PowerPoint presentation, Brown’s been one of the nation’s best. He paces the country in rushing yards (1,442) for a unit running the ball at a top-30 rate nationally.

Plus, constantly moving the chains with Brown’s tree trunks can oftentimes help settle down transfer quarterback Tommy DeVito. The Fighting Illini are better from a Pass Success standpoint than they are running the ball entering Week 12.

Defensively, the Fighting Illini have enjoyed one of the biggest — if not the biggest — turnarounds in college football. In fact, Illinois is right up there with Michigan in a bevy of advanced defensive statistics.

Bielema’s unit is top-three in a plethora of key departments, including Rush Success, Havoc and Finishing Drives. Those are all crucial when catching 18 to a contender that feasts off all three offensively.


Michigan Wolverines

It turns out that Harbaugh’s run-first, hard-nosed brand of football can look elite when its star back is going off for a buck-60 and two touchdowns every Saturday.

BLAKE CORUM ALL THE WAY TO EXTEND THE MICHIGAN (-7) LEAD 💥 pic.twitter.com/JcDEZERESy

— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 15, 2022

We’ve seen a lot of that this season from Corum, who tops PFF‘s RB rankings entering Week 12.

Harbaugh kept Corum’s attempts below double digits each of the first three weeks against Colorado State, Hawaii and UConn, but has since unleashed his wrath to the tune of 20 or more carries in seven straight conference clashes.

Quarterback J.J. McCarthy hasn’t been perfect over the last two games (21-of-44 for just 190 total passing yards), but he genuinely doesn’t need to be amid a supporting cast both talented and deep.

McCarthy’s keeping the offense moving and staying out of harm’s way. He still posted four passing scores and stayed out of the interception column over the previous two games and is going on a month since his last pick.

Also, Michigan won both McCarthy “duds” by a combined score of 86-20. It seems like the Wolverines are a good team.

There were questions about a defense enduring turnover both from a personnel and coaching standpoint entering the year. Those were apparently very stupid questions.

Michigan’s been awesome on all three levels, pacing the country in rushing yards, total yards and points allowed per game.

The Wolverines have allowed only three of their 10 opponents to surpass their team total over in 2022.

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Illinois vs Michigan Matchup Analysis

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

Illinois Offense vs. Michigan Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 76 6
Line Yards 82 12
Pass Success 48 3
Pass Blocking** 39 23
Havoc 84 43
Finishing Drives 111 30
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Michigan Offense vs. Illinois Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 2 2
Line Yards 9 6
Pass Success 13 7
Pass Blocking** 33 26
Havoc 16 3
Finishing Drives 14 2
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 28 1
PFF Coverage 3 4
SP+ Special Teams 54 7
Seconds per Play 27.1 (83) 29.8 (126)
Rush Rate 58.7% (29) 63.3% (11)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Illinois vs Michigan Betting Pick

I couldn’t find a way to play this game over the total if I tried.

Fighting Illini over/unders the last two weeks against conference opponents, in wind games, have closed around an average of 42.5.

Saturday’s total is right there yet again depending on where you shop.

However, the reason this one feels a bit inflated is how much better Michigan’s defense is than both Purdue and Michigan State. That’s especially true in Ann Arbor, where unders are 12-4 in the last 16 games.

Michigan tackles better than any team in the entire country and ranks in the top five in coverage in the back end.

Illinois’ passing success is reflective of how well it can run the ball. Considering Brown’s injury and Michigan’s strengths up front, you’re banking on DeVito going into the Big House and lighting it up; I’m not sure that simulation exists — at least in this universe.

McCarthy leads the nation in pass yards per attempt, which is really, really cool until you get past all of the buzzwords and realize the tangible facts: He’s missed a ton of wide-open receivers down the field, and 17 MPH winds don’t bode well against an Illinois team that’s also very good at tackling and coverage.

I agree with the early coin that dumped this number down a couple of points, but still think there’s a position to play under the total at anything 41 or better.

Pick: Under 41.5 (Play to 41)

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