Odds, Picks and Predictions

The Wyoming Cowboys and Illinois Fighting Illini prepare to face off on Saturday to open the college football season. 

Wyoming is fresh off of a mediocre season. They were as streaky as it gets last year but showed potential. If they can develop consistency in 2022, the Cowboys could make some noise. 

Illinois endured a difficult last year. They struggled out of the gates and never turned things around. They played better towards the end of the year, but they are certainly looking for improvement in 2022. 

This projects to be a competitive affair between the Cowboys and Fighting Illini. 

Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM EST on Saturday, August 27th, 2022, at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL. 

Wyoming Cowboys at Illinois Fighting Illini Info

Location: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL

Date: Saturday, August 27th, 2022

Time: 4:00 PM EST

TV: BTN

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The Illinois Fighting Illini enter this game as the clear favorites. The Fighting Illini feature an underrated program that might be in line for a rebound campaign. But covering a 13.5-point spread is never an easy task. 

It will be interesting to see how the Fighting Illini fare in this contest.

But there is no question that Wyoming feels they can pull off the upset. They enjoyed a fairly good 2021 season and will look for more of the same in 2022.

Let’s take a look at the betting trends for this game.

Betting Trends

  • The Wyoming Cowboys were 5-7-1 against the spread last season. 
  • The Illinois Fighting Illini were 7-4-1 against the spread last year.
  • The Cowboys were 2-3-1 against the spread when playing on the road. 
  • The Fighting Illini are 3-3-1 against the spread when playing at their home field. 
  • Wyoming was 3-3 against the spread as an underdog last year. 
  • Illinois was 1-1-1 against the spread as a favorite last year. 
  • Wyoming was 2-2 against the spread when playing as an away underdog. 
  • The Fighting Illini were 1-1-1 against the spread when playing as a home favorite.

Betting on Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois ended the season on an inconsistent note last year. They went 4-3 over their last seven games of the season. However, their 1-4 start was their ultimate downfall. After winning the season opener against Nebraska, the Fighting Illini proceeded to drop four consecutive games. 

Three of those contests were within seven points. So had Illinois been able to pull out wins in those games, their 2021 campaign may have gone much better.

Nevertheless, this is a team aiming to start strong in 2022. 

One area where the Illini may find success is in the running game. They have demonstrated a willingness to rely on the run and pass to catch the defense off-guard. 

However, there are times when they can become overly reliant on the run. So they will need to balance things out if they want to get the job done on Saturday. 

But if the rushing attack is working, that will obviously provide the Illini with an opportunity to cover this spread. The more time they can take off the clock, the better. 

It will be interesting to see how this defense fares. The Illini looked to improve on the defensive end over the offseason, but there are still some question marks. 

In the end, their odds of covering will come down to the defensive effort. Illinois’ offense is going to put a good number of points on the scoreboard. If the defense can take care of business on their end, Illinois will cover this game. 

But it is difficult to trust this defense.

Betting on Wyoming Cowboys

Wyoming enjoyed a quality 2021 campaign that included a Bowl victory. Overall, it was a fairly successful season for the Cowboys. They did not dominate the competition, but they played well enough to remain competitive in the majority of their games. 

The Cowboys also prefer to rush the football. They were the second-best rushing team in their conference a season ago. 

Part of their rushing success stems from stubborn volume. Even if the run game doesn’t seem to work early, the Cowboys tend to stick with it and make it work. Other coaching staff may defer and start changing the game plan, but Wyoming understands that handing the ball off is the key to offensive success. 

And in a similar fashion to Illinois, the Wyoming defense will decide this game. The Cowboys had various performances last year where the defense was incredible. But in other games, it was rather underwhelming. 

Consistency will be crucial for Wyoming’s defense in 2022. 

The Cowboys enter this game with a chip on their shoulder. They understand the odds and that most people are rolling with Illinois. But Wyoming is going to do everything in their power to make this a tight-knit affair throughout.

Wyoming Cowboys at Illinois Fighting Illini Picks and Predictions

So which team should you place your bets on? Can the Cowboys upset the odds on the road, or will the Fighting Illini get the job done to open the year? 

Expect this to be a back-and-forth game throughout, with both sides trading blows. It will be a run-heavy game that may result in a number of field goals since neither features a truly elite passing attack. Moving the ball downfield may prove to be difficult in this one. 

With all of that being said, I like Wyoming’s chances of upsetting the odds. 13.5-point spreads are never easy to cover. If the Cowboys are able to run the ball effectively on Saturday, they are going to upset the odds on the road.

The Picks: 

  • Go ahead and take the Illinois Fighting Illini as your moneyline (straight-up pick) betting selection in this game. 
  • Take the under on the implied point total in this one.
  • Roll with the Wyoming Cowboys +13.5 as the road underdogs.

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