College Football Picks: Illinois vs. Penn State

Jeff Grant

Thursday, October 31, 2013 12:43 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 12:43 PM GMT

The Penn State Nittany Lions have covered the number following their last six losses, as they prepare to host the Illinois Fighting Illini Saturday. Find out why we are looking at the 'total' with our college football picks this weekend.

Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this Big Ten Conference matchup at Beaver Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for Noon ET on ESPN.

Check our SBR's College Football Picks for Week 10 Betting Odds Report

A downturn

Illinois will try to snap a three-game losing streak, which includes a 42-3 blowout loss to the Michigan State Spartans as 7.5-point home underdogs last Saturday, while getting out-gained by a 585-yard margin over that span.

The Fighting Illini are 2-11 SUATS when playing a team with a winning record the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 8-5 in that situation.

Falling into a pattern

Penn State has alternated wins and losses over its last six games, as it looks to bounce back from a 63-14 blowout loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes as 15-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total for a third consecutive contest.

The Nittany Lions are 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS following a SU loss under the direction of second-year head coach Bill O’Brien.

Capable thrower

College football handicappers may take a look at the road underdog in this spot, as Fighting Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase ranks fourth in the Big 10 in averaging 235.6 passing yards per game.

He needs 70 total yards to move into second place on the Illinois career total offense list—behind only Juice Williams in that particular category.

Series history 

The Nittany Lions have compiled a 16-4 SU all-time record against the Fighting Illini, including a 7-1 mark at home. 

Penn State true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg will get his first taste of this rivalry, as he leads the conference in averaging 254.9 passing yards per game. 

He was a full participant in practice Monday, as an injured throwing shoulder caused him to miss time last week against the Buckeyes.

[gameodds]6/247967/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Nittany Lions with their college football picks, as the Fighting Illini have failed to cover the number in their last seven road games.

College Football Pick:  Penn State Nittany Lions -10

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