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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Kansas Jayhawks Betting Preview

It’s going to be a full weekend of football action, and there is a really good matchup on Friday night to kick things off. The Illinois Fighting Illini are set to visit the Kansas Jayhawks, and both teams are looking for a second win to begin the year.

Illinois had to survive a scare from Toledo in the season opener and came away with a 30-28 victory. The Big Ten West Division appears to be wide open this season, and Illinois is trying to find a way to push for the top.

Kansas blew out Missouri State in the season opener, but that was to be expected based on the skill of their opponent. The Jayhawks struggled mightily to finish 2022, and this is going to be a great test at home.

The betting odds for this game have the Kansas Jayhawks as three-point betting favorites over the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Illini Look Different on Offense

Last season, the Illinois Fighting Illini were one of the best rushing teams in the country, and they were comfortable winning a low-scoring affair. That just isn’t going to be the case this season, and Illinois racked up 206 passing yards in Week 1.

Quarterback Luke Altmeyer had a monster game under center, and he was actually the leading rusher with 69 yards on the ground as well. Illinois has some skilled playmakers at the wide receiver position, and the team will try to get the ball in their hands.

The defense wasn’t as dominant in Week 1 as it was a year ago, but that unit is trying to play several new pieces. Illinois gave up 186 yards on the ground, and that will need to improve as the year moves along.

Kansas Has Some Defense

Kansas gave up at least 43 points in four straight games to end the 2022 season, but that defense was terrific in the Week 1 win. The Jayhawks held Missouri State to just 74 rushing yards and 17 total points, and they will look to shut down Illinois as well.

Quarterback Jason Bean had a big game in the season opener as he threw for 276 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Bean hit on a deep pass early in that game, and you should expect to see him taking some chances in this one as well.

The Jayhawks are going to try to speed up the tempo in this one, but they must find a way to take care of the football as well.

Fighting Illini Stun Jayhawks

You might think that Kansas was the most impressive team in Week 1, but it was actually the Illinois win over Toledo. There are some very talented teams in the MAC, and that win by the Fighting Illini was actually an impressive win.

The Illinois offense is going to be the difference in this game, as Luke Altmeyer is going to come up with some big throws late in this game. Kansas is going to try to hit on some big plays in order to keep up, but the aggressive Illinois defense will come up with a big turnover to seal the game.

Take the Illinois Fighting Illini moneyline as they go on the road and pick up an impressive win in this one.

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