Illinois Fighting Illini (+18) @ Cincinnati Bearcats CFB Pick: Just as I imagined, this spread moved in my favor – but I’m thinking I don’t need those extra points – though 20 would be nice (and the spread is currently at 20.5 in 90% of the sports books) I just see this game being closer. The Illini have some elite players, and they were certainly expected to perform better than they did this season, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they have the athletes to make this a game.
Illinois has covered in three of their last four games, winning two of their last 3. They’ve played their best football of the season over the last 4 games, and Juice Williams and company are finally getting on track. A little late for a post season performance, sure, but this game is Illinois’ season, and it would put a nice finishing touch on a tough season if they could hand the Bearcats their first loss of the season.
Cincinnati has played quite a few close games lately. Against West Virginia, Connecticut, and Fresno State, they finished on top by a single score or less. They still have a quarterback dilemma (thought two stud quarterbacks seems like a good problem to have) and the questions surrounding who is going to play and when might still be sitting around for this solid team.
The Bearcats have a lot to look forward too, and sometimes, often times, teams in that situation get caught looking forward. If Illinois can hold the ball, keep it in their hands with some big conversions, I think they keep this game very close.