Spooky Express Sports Betting News & More

College Football Betting Preview: Toledo Rockets vs Illinois Fighting Illini

September 2, 2023


The Toledo Rockets finished last season with a record of 9-5 and a record of 5-3 in the MAC Conference which led to a 1st place finish in the West Division of the MAC and an appearance in the MAC Championship game against the Ohio Bobcats which resulted in a 17-7 win and the Rockets making a bowl game for the 2nd consecutive year with an appearance in the Boca Raton Bowl against the Liberty Flames which resulted in a 21-19 win. 

This season, the Toledo Rockets enter the year with an over/under win total of 8.5 wins which means the Rockets are projected to become bowl-eligible for the 3rd consecutive season and based on Vegas odds are projected to be the best team in the MAC Conference as Toledo is +175 to win the MAC Conference Championship this season.

Illinois finished the 2022 college football season with a record of 8-5 and a record of 5-4 in the Big Ten Conference which led to a tie for 2nd place in the West Division of the Big Ten Conference and the Fighting Illini making a bowl game for the first time since the 2019 college football season with an appearance in the ReliaQuest Bowl against the Mississippi State Bulldogs which resulted in a 10-19 loss for the Fighting Illini. 

The Fighting Illini will have a new Defensive Coordinator this season after Ryan Walters left to become the head coach for the Purdue Boilermakers with the hiring of Aaron Henry to become the new Defensive Coordinator Henry most recently served as the Defensive Backs Coach for the Illinois Fighting Illini from 2021-2022 before being promoted as the Defensive Coordinator. 

This season, the Illinois Fighting Illini enter the year with an over/under win total of 6.5 wins which means the Fighting Illini are projected to make a bowl game for the 2nd consecutive year and based on Vegas odds are projected to be the 6th best team in the Big Ten Conference behind the Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan Wolverines, Penn State Nittany Lions, Wisconsin Badgers, and Iowa Hawkeyes.

BookMaker has the Illinois Fighting Illini listed as 9-point favorites at home against the Toledo Rockets on Saturday night in week 1 of the college football season. This will be the first time in the history of the two programs that they will face each other in college football. Toledo finished last season with a record of 5-9 ATS overall, 1-5 ATS on the road, and 0-1 ATS as an underdog while Illinois finished 8-5 ATS overall, 4-3 ATS at home, and 5-3 ATS as a favorite.

Toledo is projected to be the best team in the MAC Conference this season while Illinois is projected to be a middle-of-the-pack team in the Big Ten. The Rockets enter the season projected to finish with a better record this season as they enter the season with an over/under win total of 8.5 wins while the Fighting Illini has an over/under win total of 6.5 wins. I would not be surprised to see the Toledo Rockets pull off the upset and win outright as an underdog, however, I will be taking Toledo Rockets +9 to be safe in this matchup on BookMaker on Saturday night. 

Spooky Express Pick: Toledo Rockets +9