Illinois started 7-1 last season before losing four of their last five, including their bowl game against Mississippi State. The Rockets won nine games, including the MAC title and their bowl game against Liberty. Here’s our prediction along with a betting and DFS preview.
Toledo vs. Illinois Betting and DFS Preview
Illinois -9, Toledo +9
Illinois -375, Toledo +295
- Game time
7:30 p.m. EST
Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
- Predicted Weather at Kick
65 degrees, clear, winds SW at 5 to 10 mph
- How to Watch
FuboTV, Big Ten Network
Looking to bet on the game? Use our widget below to easily place your bet if it is legal in your state.
Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays
All values below come from FanDuel’s multi-team entries for the weekend. Looking to sign up for FanDuel? New customers bet $5 and get $200 in bonus bets guaranteed. Click here for more details.
Looking for each team’s depth chart? Click the appropriate link to view.
Toledo Depth Chart | Illinois Depth Chart
- QB Dequan Finn, Toledo
- QB Luke Altmyer, Illinois
- RB Reggie Love, Illinois
- RB Josh McCray, Illinois
- RB Jacquez Stuart, Toledo
- WR Isaiah Williams, Illinois
- WR Pat Bryant, Illinois
- WR Jerjuan Newton, Toledo
- WR Devin Maddox, Toledo
- TE Tip Reiman, Illinois
While there aren’t any DFS picks at the time of writing, there are multiple players to keep an eye on for fantasy purposes.
Illinois has a new quarterback in Luke Altmyer, who joins the team after playing previously for Ole Miss. Altmyer threw three touchdowns and three interceptions during his time with the Rebels, so he did not have much playing time under his belt.
Toledo ranked 12th in the country defensively against the pass, and all their 2022 starters in the secondary are back. It is a bit of a risk to play Altmyer since he is just getting his footing under him as a starter.
Reggie Love and Josh McCray make for a formidable duo in the backfield, with Chase Brown no longer the starting running back in Illinois. For fantasy purposes, they will split time at running back, so who knows how that will look. What might help is as the Fighting Illini get their passing game going, their running backs should get more touches early in the season.
Isaiah Williams is a name to watch out for as he returns as the Illini’s top receiver with 715 yards and five touchdowns off 82 catches a season ago. Altmyer will often target him and receiver Pat Bryant in the passing game.
Toledo quarterback Dequan Finn is now a junior after putting up a stellar sophomore campaign for the Rockets, earning Second-Team All-MAC honors. Finn is electric with running the ball and will not make mistakes. Illinois’ defense in 2022 ranked in the top five in scoring (12.8) and total defense (273.5), so Finn might struggle up front, but he can make enough plays to be a sleeper in fantasy.
Dynamic Rockets receiver Jerjuan Newton is back as the top receiver after leading the team with 53 receptions, 830 yards, and nine touchdowns last season. Newton possesses great hands and can make big plays in the receiving game. Watch for Toledo’s second-leading receiver from last season, Devin Maddox, to also contribute to the passing game.
Prediction for Toledo vs. Illinois
Illinois should know that this is not an easy non-conference matchup for them. Toledo is returning 16 players from last season’s squad, and they have all of their important players back. Nine returning players are on offense, so the Rockets expect massive things from their young players growing from last season.
The Fighting Illini had one of the best defenses in the country last season, as they are returning seven starters from the unit. Defensive end Jer’Zhan Newton is their all-important player after 62 tackles and 5.5 sacks from the previous season, tops of the returning players.
This upcoming game is not going to be a high-scoring affair with Illinois’ defense so good and Toledo’s offense being able to hold up well. There are offensive weapons on both sides of the ball, but quarterback is the key difference between the two teams. Toledo is a playmaker, while Illinois is on their third straight season with a new quarterback taking over the team.
The Rockets have a chance here to pull off an upset, as this should be a trap game for Illinois. There is no denying the defense for the Fighting Illini is top-notch, but Toledo is going to surprise people in this game by making it competitive. This is the game to take the under and could be one where the consideration of an upset should come into place.
Toledo 23, Illinois 20