Fresno State Bulldogs at Illinois Fighting Illini Free Pick: Everybody has completely bought in to the Illini’s recent change in play, and I must admit, this is more of the team I expected when the season started. Juice Williams is playing pretty good football, and the team has some offensive playmakers, definitely. The problem is, when they’re playing good or bad football, they still can’t stop anybody. Especially a team like Fresno State that is much better than people give them credit for.
I thought this line was kind pretty off when I first saw the line, and it’s only moved in my favor. I took the Bulldogs +1 and they’ve moved to a field goal underdog, and still, 60+% of the public likes the Illini. I’m starting to think (or have always thought, would be a better way to put it) that “names” of a program means a lot more to bettors than the actual ability of said team. Really, the Bulldogs are the better team, there’s no doubt in my mind.
But Illinois is a “Big Conference School” (I know, the Big 10, so powerful!) and they’ve won 4 of their last 5 against the spread (including a big win over big powerhouse, Michigan). They are hot, so to say. Sure, they only have 3 wins on the year and have been beaten by double digits in almost every single one of their 8 losses, but they’re “hot”.
Listen, Fresno State’s only losses come against Nevada, Boise State, Cincinnati, and Wisconsin. Two of those were decided by one score. One went to overtime. I’ll take the much better team and a field goal, thank you very much.
Fresno State Bulldogs (+1) @ Illinois Fighting Illini