| SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2021 | ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI VS. VIRGINIA CAVALIERS

The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Virginia Cavaliers will both be gunning for a victory on Saturday when they meet at David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium.

Oddsmakers opened the Cavaliers as -12.5-point favorites versus the Fighting Illini, while the game's total opened at 53.5.

Last time out for Illinois, they were a 37-30 loser as they battled Roadrunners at home. Illinois failed to cover in the match as a -4.5-point favorite, while 67 combined points moved the game OVER for totals bettors.

Illinois:

Team record: 1-1 SU,1-1 ATS

Illinois is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games

Illinois is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games

The total has gone OVER in 4 of Illinois's last 6 games

Virginia:

Team record: 1-0 SU,1-0 ATS

Virginia is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games

Virginia is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games

The total has gone OVER in 13 of Virginia's last 17 games

Next up:

Illinois home to Maryland Friday, September 17

Virginia at North Carolina Saturday, September 18

The Illinois Fighting Illini come into this matchup with a record of 1-1 for this season. In their last matchup, the Fighting Illini played the UTSA Roadrunners and went home with a loss by a final score of 37-30. Artur Sitkowski went 22/42 with 266 yds passing and 3 touchdowns. He had a quarterback rate of 129.2 and finished the game with no picks. Reggie Love III was the best rusher for the Fighting Illini with 11 carries for 39 yards (3.5 yards per attempt). On the day, they had 78 plays which totaled 412 yds. The Illinois Fighting Illini ended up rushing 35 times and totaled 146 yds, which is an average of 4.2 yards per tote. In the running game, the Fighting Illini gave up 217 yds on 50 tries, which is an average of 4.3 yds per run surrendered. Illinois surrendered 20 completions on 32 tries for a total of 280 yards, and a completion rate of 62.5%.

Josh's Pick: Take the Fighting Illini +9.5

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The over is trending for these 2 teams dating back to last year. The game total has gone over in 13 of Virginia’s last 17 games while Illinois has gone over in 5 of their last 6. Even with an 11:00 AM start on Saturday, look for the offenses to continue to produce, especially through the air. Illinois RB Mike Epstein and Virginia RB Iraken Armstead have only combined for 161 yards on the ground. Both teams have relied on the pass early in 2021 and I expect that trend to continue. Look for a slow start in the first quarter and then a back and forth affair for the remainder of the afternoon.

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KEY INJURIES

The big injury from this past week was Brandon Peters. He will, most likely, be ready to go against Virginia, but I am not sure if that is the best thing for the Illini. Art Sitkowski has thrown for 390 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions through two weeks.

Wide receiver Jafar Armstrong and running back Chase Hayden both could play this weekend but are questionable. Wide receiver Marquez Beason was dressed against UTSA, so I expect him to be eased back into action shortly. Wide receiver Brian Hightower isn’t playing, and both linebacker Calvin Hart and offensive lineman Jordyn Slaughter are out for the season.

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TEAM LAST 5 GAMES