Indiana football vs. Illinois: Kickoff, betting tips, and prediction

Oct 16, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

For the third consecutive season, Indiana football kicks off the season against a Big Ten foe as the Hoosiers take on Illinois in Bloomington on September 2. Facing off for the first time since 2017, the Illini have not beaten the Hoosiers in football since 2011, when Illinois was ranked in the Top 25, at the time.

Indiana football vs. Illinois kickoff

Friday, September 2nd
8:00pm EST
Memorial Stadium – Bloomington, IN
Fox Sports 1

Indiana football vs. Illinois betting lines

Spread: Indiana -3.0 (-110)
Moneyline: Indiana -150
Over/Under: 45.0 points (-110)

(Odds by Caesars Sportsbook via ESPN)

Indiana football vs. Illinois best bet: Indiana ML (-160) & Under 45.0 points (-110)

Though Indiana football opened up as 4.5-point favorites, things have changed as we inch closer and closer to kickoff. Yes, I do believe the Hoosiers will come out on top, but giving the Illini three points in a spread bet is risky, especially with IU coming off of the 2-10 brutal season that was 2021. Illinois already has a game under their belt from beating Wyoming in Week 0, so they knocked off the rust while Indiana football is looking to notch its first win since September 25, 2021.

The only thing that gives me pause about betting Indiana to win this game and cover the spread is the talent and depth at running back for the Illini with Chase Brown. The Hoosiers have the defensive secondary to control the passing game, but can the new-look front, especially without Micah McFadden, stop the run on a consistent basis?

My best bet for this game is Indiana football to win the game with no spread, the moneyline, which is currently at -150. This means that with a $100 bet, if Indiana beats Illinois, you would cash in a $66.67 profit. If you want to add more to that, throwing in a parlay of under 45.0 points is a VERY likely outcome with both offenses not being high-powered at all. I will be surprised if both teams reach 20+ points. That means if you parlay Indiana moneyline and under 45.0 points (+218) with a $100 bet, if the total score is less than 45 points and Indiana wins, you would profit $218.19 total. A home game for an Indiana football program that has been itching to get on the field gives me great confidence for a Hoosiers opening week win on Friday.

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Indiana football vs. Illinois prediction

This game will be close until the third or fourth quarter. The Hoosiers will start slow dusting some rust off, and Illinois doesn’t have the firepower offensively to pull away early. Indiana football and the new offense will spread out Illinois’ defense and be too much to handle after halftime and the Hoosiers will pull away.

Look for true freshman, Jaylin Lucas, to make an impact on this game, along with expected starting QB, Connor Bazelak. The offense should look a lot better than it did in 2021, and starting off the season against a below-average Illini defense is a perfect recipe for a Hoosiers win to open 2022.

Next. Final game-by-game predictions for Hoosiers in 2022. dark