Illinois vs Kansas Prediction & Picks: Visitors Put Up a Fight

Devon Platana

Written by: Devon Platana

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illinois vs kansas prediction, odds & picks


Week 2 of the 2023 NCAA college football season is here, featuring another exciting slate of games for the weekend. There’s a massive inter-conference matchup going down Friday night when the Illinois Fighting Illini take on the Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Both schools opened up the new campaign with victories last week. A last-minute field goal helped lift Illinois to a 30-28 win over Toledo while Kansas hardly broke a sweat in its 48-17 blowout victory against Missouri State.

So, which team will remain undefeated after the smoke from this matchup clears?

Betting News is here to shed some light on tonight’s Illinois vs Kansas showdown. Keep reading to find out the latest game odds, as well as my prediction and betting picks for the action.

Illinois vs Kansas Tonight (Sept. 8)

ILL vs. KU Game Information

  • Matchup: Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0, 0-0 Away) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (1-0, 1-0 Home)
  • Venue & Location: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium (Lawrence, Kansas)
  • Date: Friday, Sept. 8, 2023
  • Game Time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Where to Watch Illinois vs Kansas: ESPN2

Illinois vs Kansas Odds

Game odds courtesy of Bovada as of Friday, Sept. 8 at 10:04 a.m. ET from. Odds from other sportsbooks may also be mentioned in this article.


  • Illinois Fighting Illini +3.5 (-115)
  • Kansas Jayhawks -3.5 (-105)


  • Over 57 Points (-110)
  • Under 57 Points (-110)


  • Illinois Fighting Illini +145
  • Kansas Jayhawks -170

Illinois vs Kansas Betting Trends

  • Illinois is 0-9 straight up in its last nine games on a Friday.
  • Kansas is 5-0 straight up in its last five games played in September.
  • Illinois is 8-1 ATS in its last nine road games.
  • Kansas is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games as the favorite.
  • The total has hit the under in each of Illinois’ last five Week 2 matchups.
  • The total has hit the over in four of Kansas’ last five games played on a Friday.

Illinois vs Kansas Game Preview

College football fans are in for a treat tonight as Illinois and Kansas meet for the first time ever.

If the Fighting Illini are to win, they need more of a complete performance this week. They were on their way to losing to the Rockets had it not been for Caleb Griffin kicking a 29-yard field goal with five seconds remaining in the game.

What’s even worse is that Illinois was up 27-19 early in the fourth quarter. While the team survived taking its foot off the gas against Toledo, it can’t make the same mistake against a Kansas offense that 33.9 PPG last year (No. 22 in the NCAAF).

At the same time, the Jayhawks’ offense isn’t exactly at full strength. Starting quarterback Jalon Daniels missed last week’s opener with a back injury and even though he’s expected to play tonight, he likely isn’t at 100%.

Illinois vs Kansas prediction, odds & picks
Can Kansas QB Jalon Daniels make an impact even if his back isn’t at 100%?

Daniels is known for being a dual-threat after racking up over 2,000 through the air and 425 yards on the ground last season. Assuming that his back isn’t fully healed, he won’t be able to rely on his strengths.

And yes, while Kansas still dropped 48 points with backup QB Jason Bean under center last week, that success came against an FCS program. Illinois’ defense should provide a stiffer test after allowing just 13.8 points (No. 2) and 286.8 total yards (No. 4) per game last fall.

There are also a few betting trends worth noting. For starters, Illinois has been great on the road, covering the spread in eight of its last nine away matchups. Meanwhile, Kansas is only 2-8-1 ATS in its previous 11 Week 2 matchups.

Furthermore, the Jayhawks have failed to cover the spread in nine of their last 12 outings as the betting favorite.

Illinois vs Kansas Prediction and Picks

Illinois vs Kansas Prediction: Illinois 28, Kansas 25

Illinois vs Kansas Picks: Illinois +3.5 (Best Value: -115 on Bovada ) & Luke Altmyer Over 203.5 Passing Yards (-115 on Bovada)

I won’t be surprised if Illinois pulls off the upset tonight. Kansas is a solid program, but I don’t like the offense with Daniels playing banged-up. Throw in the fact that the Fighting Illini have the better defensive unit and I see them covering against the Jayhawks, who can’t seem to cover as the favorite.

As for a prop bet I like, I’m taking the over (-115) on Illinois QB Luke Altmyer’s 203.5 passing yards projection.

The sophomore gunslinger just through for 206 yards last week and now gets to face a Kansas team that allowed the 15th-most passing yards in the nation last year. As long as he doesn’t try to force anything, Altmyer won’t struggle to hit the over tonight.

More Betting Content

How can I bet on ILL vs KU?

All of the top online sports betting sites will have NCAAF odds, but here are some of the sites we recommend most for college football enthusiasts.

More NCAAF Week 2 Betting

Devon Platana
Devon Platana

Devon is a Master of Journalism graduate who joined the sports betting world in 2020. His favorite leagues to cover are the NHL, NBA and NFL, and has a soft spot for fantasy football specifically. Outside of sports, he enjoys the finer things in life like pasta, live music and getting even more tattoos.

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