College Football Week 3 Predictions: Western Michigan vs. Illinois

Western Michigan Broncos team

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, September 15, 2016 9:44 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016 9:44 PM UTC

Our college football betting expert breaks down the particulars in Saturday’s Western Michigan and Illinois game. Be sure to read this revealing article concluded with a college football pick.

Illinois entertains Western Michigan on Saturday in what will be their final non-conference game before starting its Big Ten slate. The opening kickoff at Memorial Stadium in Champagne, Illinois is slated for 4:00 PM ET.

According to the present (9/13) college football point spreads and totals at BetOnline (now offering 75% Free Sign Up Play), Western Michigan is a 3.0-point favorite, and there’s a posted total of 56.0. These teams last met in 2012, and Illinois was a 24-7 winner at home.


Season Recaps
Western Michigan will enter Saturday’s game having gone 2-0 SU&ATS to start the season. The Broncos pulled off a mild upset in their season opener, winning 22-21 as a 3.0-point underdog at Northwestern. They followed that up with a 70-21 blowout of North Carolina Central (FCS), and easily covered as a sizable 36.5-point favorite. Western Michigan has dominated time of possession through its first two games, evidenced by holding the ball an average 13:54 more per game than its opponents.

Illinois began their 2016 campaign with a 52-3 blowout win over Murray State and covered as a 33.0-point home favorite. Last week was a whole different story at home against North Carolina. They were outclassed by the Tar Heels in a 48-23 defeat and failed to cover as a 6.5-point underdog.


Team Betting Trends
Since 2014, Western Michigan has gone an outstanding 9-1 SU&ATS as a pick or favorite, following a win in their previous game. As a matter of fact, if those games were played on the road, or at a neutral site, the Broncos were a perfect 4-0 SU&ATS in that exact scenario and won by an average of 21.8 points per game.

By virtue of last week’s result, Illinois is now an abysmal 0-6 SU&ATS during their previous 6 games as an underdog. Furthermore, they lost by an average of 19.8 points per game.


College Football Betting Angle
Since 2012, any away team that’s +3.0 to -3.0, playing in games 3 thru 8 of the season, and is coming off 2 or more ATS wins in a row, versus an opponent coming off an SU&ATS loss, resulted in those away teams going 22-6 ATS (78.6%) since 2012.

This is one of those extremely rare occurrences when we have a MAC team installed as a road favorite against a “Power 5” school. The best sportsbooks are practically begging you take the home underdog. I’m not taking the bait, and one of my Saturday college football predictions will prove that precise point.


Free NCAAF Pick: Western Michigan -3 -105
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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