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Ohio State vs. Illinois: Betting Odds Analysis and Pick Prediction

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 05:  Carlos Hyde #34 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs over Matthew Harris #27 of the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on October 5, 2013 in Evanston, Illinois. Ohio State defeated Northwestern 40-30.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2013

The Ohio State Buckeyes lay nearly five touchdowns to Big Ten rival Illinois as they look to extend their winning streak to 22 games. But the Illini have been staunch as home underdogs, going 6-3 ATS in nine games in this situation.

And getting 32 points at home in a conference tilt is a tempting number for many fans.


Point spread:
Ohio State opened as 32-point road favorites; the total was 67 Wednesday. (Line updates and matchup report)


Odds Shark computer says:
49-15 Ohio State


Why Ohio State can cover the spread

Ohio State enters the game with the longest winning streak in college football at 21 games, and, while this is a mighty big number, it's important to understand the Buckeyes rank third in the nation in rushing defense (88.2 yards per game). Stopping the run essentially takes away any play action. Can you say shutout?

The Buckeyes have handled big spreads with ease lately, going 7-1 ATS in their past eight games.


Why Illinois can cover the spread

There is an actual trophy these two play for as this is the annual Illibuck Trophy game, one of Illinois' three trophy games. While the Buckeyes have won the last five trophies, the average margin of victory has been 18.2, with the largest margin being 30 points. The line is 32 and the Illini have covered six of nine games as home underdogs.


Smart Pick

It's hard to ignore a live home underdog catching this many points. The revamped Illinois offense has made huge strides from last season, jumping at least 55 spots in the national rankings from last year to this year.

Illinois should stay within 30 and cover the number, although the computer predicts a 34-point margin of victory for the Buckeyes.


Trends:

Ohio State is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games

Illinois is 6-3 ATS in its last nine games as a home underdog


Note:
All spread and odds data powered by Odds Shark - follow them on Twitter for injury updates and line move updates.

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