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The Illinois Fighting Illini prepare for a trip to East Lansing to face the Michigan State Spartans from the Spartan Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Both teams are on opposite ends of the form spectrum: Illinois have won their last three, while Michigan State have lost their previous three.
Illinois revive season with three straight winsForm
After a four-game losing streak, Illinois have resuscitated their season with three straight wins. That means they are now 5-4 for the season after they beat Rutgers comprehensively 38-10 in their previous game, a win built around a solid defensive performance.
The game was tied at 10 at halftime, but Illinois changed the game in the second half. Brandon Peters was 6 of 11 for 120 yards, including a touchdown. Dele Harding led the defense with 12 tackles, and an interception return for a score. Dre Brown rushed the ball eight times for 31 yards and two touchdowns.
What was said?
"Dele, he's been that for us all year," Illinois coach Lovie Smith said. "He was feeling a little sick before the game, but he's one of our captains and a motivator for us. He's productive. We needed to flip the switch at halftime. We had opportunities early, but the takeaways just jump-started us when we needed it most."
Illinois have indeed flipped the switch with consistent offense that now ranks 61st in the season, with an average of 30 points per game. They have been particularly good on the ground, rushing for 163 yards, 69th in the league.
Michigan State lose three straight with total score of 100-7Form and last game
The Spartans have lost their last three games, all to top-10 opponents. They scored a combined 17 points during these three games. In their previous game, the Spartans were thrashed 28-7 by the Penn State Nittany Lions.
What was said?
"From my perspective, we need to execute better," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "There are things that we can do from a call situation, but we've got the same -- a lot of the same plays are the same plays that other people run as well, timing and who to go to and those type of things. But we'll look at everything."
Joe Bachie has been "ruled ineligible for taking a banned substance", according to ESPN. "All my career I've done my very best to represent Michigan State in a positive manner on and off the field," Bachie said. "I plan to appeal, but to all of those affected, from my coaches to my teammates and to the fans, I apologize for putting them through this situation."
— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) November 4, 2019
Trends, as found on covers.com, are: Michigan State Spartans are:
- 7-20 ATS in their last 27 games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss.
- 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games on grass.
Illinois Fighting Illini are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Any trends or stats provided here might be immaterial when a team is not confident. Similarly, negative trends may not matter when a team is filled with confidence. That's the case in this game. Illinois is in great form and spirit after winning three, while the Spartans are not in a good spot. They've lost three games and a player has been ruled ineligible. Confidence, morale and form are the three factors that could decide who covers this spread. Illinois should.
Prediction: Illinois Fighting Illini +14.5
Full-Game Total Pick
This is likely to be a low-scorer. Both teams don't have great offensive stats, averaging a combined 675 yards per game. Their rushing efficiency is a problem too: Illinois rush the ball 4.1 yards every attempt, while Michigan State are worse at 3.5 yards per attempt.
Per attempt of offense, both teams combine for 6.5 yards. That's well below the par to combine for more than 45 points.
Prediction: Under 45