Purdue Boilermakers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini – College Football, October 31, 2020

| October 29, 2020 1:58 pm PDT

An upset victory over Iowa in week 1 gives Purdue lots of momentum heading into Champaign. The Fighting Illini are in pursuit of a bounce-back performance after getting smashed last Friday in Madison.

Can the Boilermakers find a way to emerge on the road, or is this a prime spot for Lovie Smith’s group to rebound?

Let’s get to my Purdue vs. Illinois prediction and betting pick so we can answer that question.

Purdue vs. Illinois Odds

Purdue (-7)-110
Illinois (+7)-110
Purdue to Win-265
Illinois to Win+215
Over 58.5-110
Under 58.5-110

The opening line, Purdue -4, has vanished into thin air.

Wisconsin’s drubbing of Illinois – coupled with Purdue beating the Hawkeyes – has pushed this spread up to a full touchdown at the safest betting sites.

Nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out that the Fighting Illini drummed the Boilermakers last season in a game that was played in West Lafayette. In fact, Illinois led Purdue 24-0 before a trivial score late in the game made the final tally a bit more respectable (24-6). Needless to say, the crowd at Ross-Ade Stadium was less than pleased.

Perhaps locking in a Purdue vs. Illinois pick on Halloween isn’t as simple as you thought.

A Look at the Boilermakers

Jeff Brohm returns to the sidelines after being consigned to watching his team’s opener at home with his dog. Special teams coordinator Marty Biagi is also set to resume his duties in time for Saturday’s matchup versus Illinois.

The question looming on everyone’s mind is where is Rondale Moore?

The university has stayed mum on why Moore wasn’t on the field last weekend against Iowa, and they won’t provide any details as to if/when he will be available. The good news is Purdue might just have the best receiver in the Big Ten anyway.

Get used to hearing David Bell’s name – he is a force to be reckoned with. And while Bell was busy torching the Hawkeyes secondary, junior RB Zander Horvath shined on 21 carries for 129 yards.

If we see Aidan O’Connell make strides in the pocket and start cleaning up his decision-making, the Boilermakers could wind up as Wisconsin’s biggest challenger in the Big Ten West. 

A Look at the Fighting Illini

Senior quarterback Brandon Peters knows he needs to play better. Sure, he led the team with 75 rushing yards (against the Badgers) and he didn’t turn the ball over, but 8-19 for 87 yards through the air isn’t going to cut it. Not against Wisconsin, not against, Purdue, not against anyone in the Big Ten Conference.

Peters needs some assistance from Mike Epstein in the backfield, and he needs his receivers to step up. Josh Imatorbhebhe flashed his propensity for big plays in 2019, but you’d be hard-pressed to find another member of the Fighting Illini receiving corps who’s going to scare DBs in the Big Ten.

Unfortunately for fans in Champaign, expecting Peters to suddenly transform into an accurate and trustworthy quarterback in his final year is being way too ambitious. The guy attempted 275 throws last year and was sacked 24 times. His completion rate (55.3%) was actually better than his mark during his two seasons in Ann Arbor (52.7%).

Purdue vs. Illinois Pick

After touting the Boilermakers and picking on the Fighting Illini, my Purdue vs. Illinois prediction may surprise you. I’m aware that Purdue is much more explosive on offense, and we all saw Illinois get embarrassed in their first game.

But while the general public is overacting to that performance and hopping all over the Boilermakers (71% of spread consensus picks on Purdue according to ESPN), I’m pumping the brakes and targeting the other side.

Remember, we don’t need Illinois to win the game in order to cash this ticket. All we need is for them to hang around on their home field.

More College Football Picks on Halloween

Locking in a Purdue vs. Illinois prediction gives you an early game to keep tabs on Halloween day. But what games are you attacking in the afternoon and evening?

Here are a couple of ideas.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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