Illinois at Penn State odds, picks and prediction

The Illinois Fighting Illini (2-5 overall, 2-5 Big Ten) visit the Penn State Nittany Lions (3-5, 3-5) at University Park, Pa., Saturday. The Big Ten affair at Beaver Stadium is slated to kick off at 5:30 p.M. ET. Below, we analyze the Illinois-Penn State college football betting odds and lines, with picks and predictions.

Illinois at Penn State: Betting odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Friday at 11:10 a.M. ET.

  • Money line : Illinois +520 (bet $100 to win $520) | Penn State -770 (bet $770 to win $100).
  • Against the spread/ATS : Illinois +15.5 (-110) | Penn State -15.5 (-110).
  • Over/Under : 51.5 (O: -115 | U: -105).
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    Illinois at Penn State: Three things to know

  • Illinois offensive coordinator Rod Smith will serve as head coach in this contest, as Lovie Smith was fired Sunday. In five years, Smith went 17-39 at Illinois. The Fighting Illini logged a 10-33 record in Big Ten play under Smith.
  • Penn State has turned things around after a shaky 0-5 start in the fall. Now, the Nittany Lions can end the season with four straight wins if they can handle Illinois. Since Nov. 21, PSU has collected wins over Michigan, Rutgers and Michigan State. The Lions outgained foes by an average of 74.3 yards per game over those three contests.
  • The Illini defense has been flagged for six or more penalties in three of the team’s last four games. Illinois has a defense that can ill afford the hidden yards. UI coughed up 541 yards to banged-up-and-struggling Minnesota Nov. 7. Both Rutgers and Iowa logged above-average offensive performances against Illinois, and so did Northwestern last week, when the league’s 12th-ranked offense (yards) piled up 493 total yards.
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    Illinois at Penn State:Odds, betting lines, predictions and picks


    Penn State 38, Illinois 17.

    Money line (ML)

    PASS on the juice-drowned straight up prices.

    Against the spread (ATS)

    Illinois has scored just 17 non-garbage-time points over its last two games and Penn State has its offense pointed in the right direction after some early-season woes. PSU suffered some big-time turnover inequities in piling up its five straight losses (minus-9) over that stretch.

    The passing-game differential – on both sides of the ball – in this one is a heavy lean toward Penn State. Head coach James Franklin’s PSU teams have a solid history in covering numbers in late-season games. Look for a comfortable NITTANY LIONS -15.5 (-110) cover and win by at least 16 points against an Illini squad which figures to be season-fatigued on a number of levels.

    Over/Under (O/U)

    Saturday’s game in Happy Valley figures as a cold one but not likely one hampered by snow or wind. Take the OVER 51.5 (-115).

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