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Wisconsin Football vs. Illinois Predictions & Betting Odds

Here’s a look at how ESPN’s math nerds & Vegas odds makers see Wisconsin football vs. Illinois shaking out.



Wisconsin Badgers football vs. Illinois
Oct 1, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; The Wisconsin Badgers line up for a play during the first quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Under head coach Luke Fickell, the Wisconsin Badgers football team fell flat on its face against Iowa last weekend, losing 15-6 at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers are now 4-2 on the season and 2-1 in Big Ten play — with the West all but out of reach.

But the show must go on, and Wisconsin has a road contest against Illinois (3-4, 1-3 B1G) to prepare for.

This game might hold personal significance for some current Badgers players. It’s because the last time Wisconsin faced the Illini, their former head coach, Paul Chryst, found himself without a job the following Monday.

With that in mind, let’s examine the Las Vegas betting lines for the upcoming contest and see how ESPN’s FPI sees the Wisconsin Badgers road game shaking out.

Wisconsin Football vs. Illinois Betting Lines

  • Moneyline (ML): Illinois +110 OR Wisconsin -130
  • Against the spread: Illinois +2.5 (-110) OR Wisconsin -2.5 (-110)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 42.5 (O: -110 U: -110)

The Wisconsin football team’s season outlook took a significant turn after receiving news that starting quarterback Tanner Mordecai will be out of action indefinitely with an injury.

That means redshirt freshman Braedyn Locke will step in to lead the Badgers offense. For that reason alone — I don’t want any part of the over in this game. Illinois is a bad football team, that much I know. But we have no idea how Wisconsin will rebound after pissing away the Big Ten West last weekend — while mixing in a new QB under center.

I won’t be making the same mistake twice. After stupidly betting on the Wisconsin football vs. Iowa game, I’m choosing to sit out this week until I see how the Badgers respond this weekend. (I might still take the under).

How Math Nerds See the Badgers Week 8 Matchup vs. Illinois Shaking Out

ESPN’s FPI model projects that Wisconsin football has a 66.8% chance of winning its away game against Illinois this weekend.

Fundamentally, I agree with the computer’s projection. Illinois is a shell of itself this season, and the Badgers are more talented on paper. That said, Wisconsin is rolling out a quarterback who’s never started a college game before and needs to game-plan around his strengths — which differ from Mordecai’s.

UW could easily walk in and run the football down Illinois’ throat enough to win this game, just like in the glory days. But I’m skeptical that Phil Longo and the Wisconsin football offense can get back in the lab and make wholesale changes just one week removed from a debacle like we saw against Iowa. To me, this game is essentially a 50/50 pick ’em.’

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Dillon Graff is a Substack newsletter best-selling author, publisher of AllBadgers, and the owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today's BadgersWire, Athlon Sports, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, Bucky's 5th Quarter, and FanSided.