Michigan State vs Illinois Odds, Picks: Don’t Expect Tons of Points

Michigan State vs Illinois Odds, Picks: Don’t Expect Tons of Points article feature image

Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images. Pictured: Chase Brown (Illinois)

Michigan State vs Illinois Odds

Saturday, Nov. 5
3:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Michigan State Odds
-110o / -110u
Illinois Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Fighting Illini have been a pleasant surprise this season, as they are 7-1 on the year and enter this game ranked 16th in the country.

However, the same can't be said for their opponent in this matchup.

Michigan State has been struggling mightily this season, and now its recent actions just put the team in much worse shape.

At the beginning of the week, head coach Mel Tucker announced that eight Michigan State players would be suspended indefinitely after a video surfaced of players attacking a Michigan player in the tunnel after last week's game.

The Big Ten is investigating the incident, which could result in worse things for those at fault. The incident puts a dark cloud over a program that has lost four of its last five coming into this matchup.

There can't be more of a contrast in teams when looking at Illinois. The Fighting Illini have been in control of nearly every ball game this year by overpowering their opposition on both sides of the ball.

Will that same game script play out here? Let's dig deeper to find out.

Michigan State Spartans

Fortunately for the Spartans, the suspensions do not impact their offense. But the offense has been nothing to write home about this year.

The running game has not been reliable nor deployed, given the Spartans have been trailing a lot this year.

With a similar situation expected in this matchup, the offense will once again be on the shoulders of Payton Thorne.

Thorne has been efficient this season, as he's completed nearly 65% of his passes, which is good for 35th in the country. However, the issue is his consistent completions have not translated into many points, as the Spartans are 113th in red-zone scoring rate.

Additionally, their inability to run the ball has hampered the offense's production tremendously, and they will have trouble moving the ball in general against this Illinois defense.

The Fighting Illini have just shut teams down in every facet thus far. They enter this matchup fifth in yards per rush allowed, first in opponent completion percentage allowed and first in yards per pass allowed.

They have also created a bunch of turnovers, as they are second in takeaways per game and first in interception rate.

There is very little light at the end of the tunnel for the Spartans in this matchup.

Illinois Fighting Illini

On the other side of the ball, the Fighting Illini have dominated their opponents with a relentless rushing attack.

Running back Chase Brown has had an outstanding campaign, as he's averaging 5.4 yards per carry and has racked up 1,208 yards in eight games.

Despite Illinois leaning on Brown a ton, quarterback Tommy DeVito has also been great under center. He leads the country in completion percentage and should be able to add to that number, as the Spartans are 119th in completion percentage allowed.

In addition, DeVito may have a ton of openings if needed, as the Spartans are 118th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 114th in coverage rating, per PFF.

However, those numbers are with their starters. We should expect a sizable drop-off from the Spartans, as they will be without four starters due to suspension and a starting safety who is questionable with a concussion.

Michigan State vs Illinois Matchup Analysis

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

Michigan State Offense vs. Illinois Defense
Rush Success902
Line Yards1006
Pass Success664
Pass Blocking**2123
Finishing Drives641
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Illinois Offense vs. Michigan State Defense
Rush Success6561
Line Yards7475
Pass Success56118
Pass Blocking**3191
Finishing Drives11177
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling3545
PFF Coverage1143
SP+ Special Teams11355
Seconds per Play24.1 (25)27.8 (96)
Rush Rate46.1% (108)59.9% (21)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus, and SportSource Analytics.

Michigan State vs Illinois Betting Pick

The unfortunate actions of certain Spartan players are going to loom large here. Not only will their offense struggle, but the defense will not help much with all the absences.

The best way to play this game is to take the under, as the Fighting Illini may shut out Michigan State.

The Spartans' team total is only 12.5, so if Illinois keeps them under that, we should be in good shape.

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