Iowa at Illinois: 12/5/20 College Football Picks and Prediction

Iowa at Illinois: 12/5/20 College Football Picks and Prediction Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-3) vs Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2)

Game Info: Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 3:30pm (Memorial Stadium)

Betting Odds: Illinois Fighting Illini +13 -- Over/Under: 50.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The 24th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will travel to Memorial Stadium (Champaign, IL) to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini this Saturday in College Football action.

The 24th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes won their 5th straight game and improved to 4-2 (4-2 Big Ten) on the season after defeating the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 26-20, this past Saturday. Iowa trailed by a 20-13 margin early in the 3rd quarter, however, the defense was outstanding down the stretch and the Hawkeyes were able to get the come from behind victory after scoring 13 unanswered points to finish out the game. Iowa was outgained by Nebraska by a 338-322 margin, however, did win the turnover battle by a 2-1 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Hawkeyes was RB Tyler Goodson who had 111 yards on 30 carries.

On the season, Iowa is averaging 31.8 ppg on 364.5 total yards per game (191.7 passing yds/g; 172.8 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Iowa has been led by the RB duo of Tyler Goodson (113 att, 564 yards, 6 TD) and Makhi Sargent (53 att, 327 yards, 7 TD). QB Spencer Petras has completed 56.3% of his passes for 1,138 yards, 4 TD, & 5 INT. The top receiving threats for the Hawkeyes have been Sam LaPorta (22 rec, 203 yards), Nico Ragaini (17 rec, 189 yards), Ihmir Smith-Marsette (14 rec, 173 yards, 1 TD), Tyrone Tracy Jr. (14 rec, 154 yards, TD), and Brandon Smith (15 rec, 143 yards, 2 TD).

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Defensively, Iowa is holding their opponents to an average of 16.7 ppg on 322.8 total yards per game (213.5 passing yds/g; 109.3 rushing yds/g).

The Illinois Fighting Illini had their game last week against Ohio State cancelled due to Covid-19 and come into this matchup with an overall record of 2-3 (2-3 Big 10) after defeating the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 41-23, on November 21st. Illinois has their best offensive showing of the season and had no trouble picking up the victory after taking a 28-10 halftime lead. Illinois outgained Nebraska by a 490-392 margin and forced 5 Nebraska turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for the Fighting Illini was RB Chase Brown who had 110 rushing yards & 2 TD’s on 26 carries.

On the season, Illinois is averaging 21.8 ppg on 381.8 total yards per game (159.4 passing yds/g; 222.4 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Illinois has been led by the RB duo of Chase Brown (61 att, 357 yards, 2 TD) and Mike Epstein (55 att, 338 yards, 4 TD). QB Brandon Peters returned after missing most of the season due to COVID-19 and looked sharp in his return completing 18 of 25 passes for 205 yards & 1 TD while also rushing for a TD. The top receiving threats for the Fighting Illini have been Josh Imatorbhebhe (15 rec, 215 yards, 2 TD), Daniel Barker (12 rec, 174 yards), and Brian Hightower (7 rec, 141 yards, TD).

Defensively, Illinois is allowing their opponents to average 32.0 ppg on 448.2 total yards per game (253.6 passing yds/g; 194.6 rushing yds/g).

The Hawkeyes are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games vs. Illinois and 4-1 SU in their last 5 road games. The Fighting Illini are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games, however, just 2-6 SU in their last 8 games.

Iowa has four straight wins and is in the top-25, however, I’m not sold on the Hawkeye as of yet as this is a team that lost on the road against Purdue while their best win is probably their home victory over Michigan State. Illinois had a tough start to their season as they missed a lot of players, including QB Brandon Peters, however, looked great in their last game against Nebraska. Illinois is a better team than their record shows and now that they have Peters back, I think they can do enough at home to cover with the double-digit points. Good Luck!

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Brett’s Pick Illinois Fighting Illini +13

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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