Penn State vs. Illinois odds, line: 2021 college football picks, Week 8 predictions from model on 22-9 run

The Illinois Fighting Illini (2-5) go on the road to play the seventh-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1) on Saturday. The Fighting Illini lost 24-0 in Week 7 against Wisconsin. Their offense only managed to gain 93 yards. Illinois is 6-2 against the spread in its last eight games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in the previous game. Penn State is 7-1 against the spread in its last eight games as a favorite. 

Kickoff from Beaver Stadium is set for noon ET. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Nittany Lions as 23.5-point favorites in the latest Penn State vs. Illinois odds. The over-under for total points is set at 45.5. Before locking in any Illinois vs. Penn State picks, you need to check out the college football predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $3,700 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also enters Week 8 of the 2021 season on a 22-9 run on all top-rated college football side picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has locked in on Penn State vs. Illinois and revealed its picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are the college football odds and trends for Illinois vs. Penn State:  

  • Illinois vs. Penn State spread: Penn State -23.5
  • Illinois vs. Penn State over-under: 45.5 points
  • Illinois vs. Penn State money line: Penn State -2800, Illinois +1200
  • PSU: Nittany Lions are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite
  • ILL: Under is 5-0 in Fighting Illini last five games overall

Featured Game | Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Why Penn State can cover

Penn State’s defense has been stifling thus far. It is ranked first in the conference and allows 13.8 points per game. The Nittany Lions also rank fifth in total defense with 311.7 yards per game. Penn State has four games in which it has allowed fewer than 20 points. This group has made plenty of plays in their opponents’ backfield, recording 38 tackles for loss. 

Redshirt senior defensive end Arnold Ebiketie leads Penn State in tackles for loss (9) and sacks (4). Junior linebacker Brandon Smith is second on the team in total tackles with 37, including 22 solo. Smith is also second in tackles for loss (5). The Nittany Lion defense has the personnel to cause havoc in Illinois’ backfield. 

Why Illinois can cover

The defense has allowed 22 or fewer points in four games this season. Senior outside linebacker Owen Carney Jr. leads this unit with five tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Junior defensive back Kerby Joseph is fifth in total tackles with 36, including 24 solo.

Joseph also leads Illinois with three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. He also has two pass deflections on the year. In Penn State’s 23-20 loss to No. 11 Iowa, redshirt senior quarterback Sean Clifford threw two interceptions. Illinois will need to force some turnovers to give itself a great chance to cover. 

How to make Illinois vs. Penn State picks

The model says to go under the total as the teams combine for 45 points in the simulations. It also says one side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time. You can see which side to back at SportsLine.

So who wins Penn State vs. Illinois? And which side of the spread is hitting almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread to back, all from the advanced model on a 22-9 run on its top-rated college football side picks, and find out.

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