Fighting Illini and Tigers open up their college football seasons on September 4th with the Tigers as 13.5 point favorite in college football betting lines at SBG.
These two teams are in different conferences but they are rivals that usually play every season. This contest on Saturday can be seen on FSN so it should get a little added attention in college football odds.
College football betting lines favor Missouri and for good reason. The Tigers are simply the better team. Illinois has not been very good recently under head coach Ron Zook and that probably won’t change in 2010.
High Scoring Tigers: Head coach Gary Pinkel has turned Missouri into a high scoring machine. This year should be no different with eight starters returning on offense including quarterback Blaine Gabbert. He threw for 3,593 yards with 24 TDs and had only nine interceptions last season. He should have an even better season in 2010.
Missouri’s Defense Continues to Leak: The problem for Missouri under Pinkel has been a poor defense. They return seven starters from last season but so what. The secondary was terrible and it may not be any better since they won’t get as much help from the linebackers who are without Sean Weatherspoon.
Illinois: The Illini have a new quarterback in red-shirt freshman Nathan Scheelhaase and some young talent around him. The problem could be a defense that has not played well in scrimmages. The defense was bad last year as they allowed teams to run and pass their way down the field.
Last Stand for Zook: This could be the last season for Zook. The Illini were 3-9 last season and there is no reason to believe they will be much better this season. The team does have a new offensive and defensive coordinator so perhaps there is a glimmer of hope that things could improve.
It has to get better for Zook because an 8-16 record the past two seasons has put the heat on him to produce.
Over the Total in College Football Odds: Neither Missouri nor Illinois has a defense. If the Illini can get good play out of their young quarterback this game could see both teams score more than 30 points on Saturday.