Illinois vs Virginia prediction: Cavaliers a live underdog

Illinois should be 2-0 to start this season, but the Fighting Illini lost to Indiana last week in a game they let slip late. Despite rushing for 448 yards and 29 first downs, Illinois scored 20 points and left the door open for Indiana to win the game in the final seconds.

The most alarming conclusion to this game, however, is Illini’s defense allowing Indiana quarterback Connor Bazelak to throw for 330 yards. It’s not good news with Virginia and Brennan Armstrong coming to town.

Armstrong threw for 405 yards and five touchdowns against Illinois last season in the Cavaliers’ blowout 42-14 victory. Illinois opened up against two offenses (Wyoming, Indiana) that shouldn’t be great passing teams and their secondary always struggled. That shouldn’t change on Saturday.

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I grabbed Virginia +5 on Game 1, but I still see value in taking the Cavaliers to anything over a field goal in what should be a tight game.

The choice : Virginia +4.5

AIR FORCE (-10) over Colorado, first half

You might be surprised to see Air Force among the all-game favorites at 17.5 points over a Pac-12 school. Do not be. The Falcons are loaded this season and I believe they are a team with the chance to go undefeated in the regular season. Colorado? Not really.

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The Buffaloes have a lot of problems, but the biggest one might be stopping the run. Last week against TCU, the Horned Frogs rushed for 275 yards. What do you think the Air Force will end up with on Saturday? I’ll set the Falcons rushing total at 400.

There are many ways to bet Air Force in this game, but my favorite is to back the Falcons -10 in the first half. I think the Air Force takes an early lead and never looks back.

Kentucky (+6) over FLORIDA

The Gators are a bit overvalued right now due to their Week 1 win over Utah. While quarterback Anthony Richardson looked like a legitimate Heisman contender, he eclipsed Florida’s defense by giving up 230 yards rushing and Utah by running 71 plays.

My colleague Michael Leboff covers this game in detail in our Bet Smart section, but in the end: that number is a bit high due to the overreaction in Week 1 in Florida. I would back Kentucky at anything +4 or better.

Last week: 1-2. Syracuse (W), Oregon (L), Maryland (L).

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