Illinois vs. Northwestern Prediction, Game Preview

By Pete Fiutak

Illinois vs. Northwestern prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, November 27


Illinois vs. Northwestern How To Watch

Date: Saturday, November 27
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
How To Watch: Big Ten Network
Record: Illinois (4-7), Northwestern (3-8)
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Illinois vs Northwestern Game Preview


Why Northwestern Will Win

The Northwestern offense has a whole lot of problems, but that’s okay – Illinois doesn’t really score.

The Illini got 23 in the loss to Iowa last week, and that was a stretch. This is a grinding team that wants to keep the score around 17-14, and that fits the Wildcats just fine.

Northwestern will be slow and go, and as long as it can stay conservative and not force anything with the passing game, this will be close in the fourth quarter. The game will never get away from the offense.

But, really …

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Why Illinois Will Win

Northwestern just doesn’t score. At all.

It hasn’t pushed past 14 points in any of the last five games and isn’t going to get into the 20s unless something crazy happens.

Illinois isn’t going to do anything wacky, mainly because it’s not able to. Run, run, and run some more on a Wildcat defensive front that allowed 260 yards or more in three of four games before getting a Purdue team that threw for a bazillion yards.

Keep it conservative, own the ground game, win the turnover battle. Illinois can do that, and …

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What’s Going To Happen

There’s still a distant outside chance that Illinois can go bowling at 5-7 if a whole lot of bowl slots are open and the games need someone based on the Academic Progress Rate. For now, just beating Northwestern would be a big deal for the program.

Don’t expect any fireworks. The game will go by in a snap as both teams keep the clock moving, but Illinois will be +2 in turnover margin and get just a little more going with its ground game.

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Illinois vs Northwestern Prediction, Lines

Illinois 23, Northwestern 16
Line: Illinois -6.5, o/u: 43.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

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