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Illinois vs. Wisconsin,
10-20-2018 - Pick and Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#345 Illinois
#346 Wisconsin

Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 12:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Illinois Illini

3 - 3


Wisconsin Badgers

4 - 2


Featured Video from Scott Reichel

Illinois Fighting Illini at Wisconsin Badgers

When and Where: Saturday, October 20 at 12 p.m. ET at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI

Illinois was brutal in a loss to Purdue (46-7) as the Fighting Illini couldn’t get anything going on either side of the ball. The Fighting Illini has a tremendous rushing attack, but they face a formidable rushing defense in Wisconsin. The Badgers lost in dominating fashion to Michigan in the Big House last weekend as they couldn’t pass the ball a lick. Wisconsin should be able to win the next three games, however.

Brutal Performance

The Illinois Fighting Illini did nothing against Purdue offensively, and the defense wasn’t much better in a dismal home loss. Illinois rushed 31 times for only 60 yards in a brutal performance offensively. AJ Bush Jr., the dual threat quarterback, rushed 20 times for 24 yards and a touchdown. He did throw for 170 yards, but an interception. He is the focal point of the Fighting Illini offense, and Purdue managed to slow him down. Wisconsin should be able to follow that blue print, although Michigan’s quarterback, Shea Patterson, rushed for a big game. Maybe Bush Jr. could have the same impact Saturday afternoon.

Illinois struggled defensively. Purdue did whatever it wanted through the air and the on ground. The Fighting Illini allowed three passing touchdowns and nearly 400 yards through the air. It wasn’t much better on the ground as the Boilermakers carried the ball 44 times for 227 yards and two scores. It’s not like the Fighting Illini gave the ball away on offense, Purdue just did whatever it wanted offensively, and that’s concerning for the Fighting Illini moving forward, especially with a dynamic rushing attack in Wisconsin. Illinois allows 31.5 points per game.

Bouncing Back

Wisconsin couldn’t get anything going through the air in Saturday’s lackluster loss to the Michigan Wolverines. The running game, featuring Jonathan Taylor, had some success in the double-digit loss to the Wolverines, but the passing game was too ineffective to give the Badgers a chance. The Badgers are averaging 30 points per game as the Badgers rely heavily on the run. Wisconsin isn’t meant to trail as the passing attack just isn’t consistent enough, so it’s imperative the Badgers get off to a good start using their stud running back Taylor. Alex Hornibrook managed only 100 yards through the air and had seven completions. He needs to be better.

The Badgers were exposed defensively, allowing over 300 yards rushing against the Wolverines. Wisconsin needs to be better stopping the run, and the Badgers face a solid rushing attack in Illinois, so that’s going to be a major key in Saturday’s game. Wisconsin’s T.J. Edwards and Ryan Connelly each registered a sack in the loss to Michigan. The Badgers couldn’t force a turnover, which proved to be a reason why they couldn’t get anything going on offense.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

It’s a massive spread, but this is a game that Wisconsin just needs to dominate after struggling to contain Michigan Saturday. The Badgers will zero in on Illinois’s rushing attack and make some big-time defensive plays. Illinois could struggle to slow down Jonathan Taylor who is poised for a major performance.

Prediction: Wisconsin -26

Full-Game Total Pick

Wisconsin should bounce back with ease in this game. But Illinois scored just 7 points against the Boilermakers at home. How are they going to score against a real defense? This game should go well under the total.

Prediction: Under

Joseph Phelan

Joe graduated from St. Bonaventure University in Western New York. He works as a news reporter for a paper in Saratoga Springs, NY. He's been watching sports since he could walk, his favorites being basketball and football.


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