Wyoming vs Illinois Odds, Picks and Predictions: Cowboys Can't Outfight Illini

The Wyoming Cowboys are in flux and don't have the firepower to overtake the Illinois Fighting Illini to start the 2022 season. Expect Illinois to turn this game into a grind by focusing on its excellent ground game while keeping the score low.

Ashley Anderson - Betting Analyst
Ashley Anderson • Betting Analyst
Aug 25, 2022 • 09:56 ET • 4 min read
Chase Brown Illinois Fighting Illini College Football
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Wyoming Cowboys and Illinois Fighting Illini will meet for the first time in school history when the Mountain West squad visits the Big Ten program on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

Both teams ranked toward the bottom of their respective conferences in 2021, but the Illini are projected to handle their cross-conference foes with ease, opening as 10-point favorites at most sportsbooks.

Below we give you our best free college football picks and predictions for Wyoming vs. Illinois in Week 0 of the 2022 college football season.

Wyoming vs Illinois odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Wyoming opened as a 10- to 10.5-point underdog at most books, with the line settling at 11 by midweek. The total opened at 46.5 at DraftKings and bet365 but has shifted down to 44 by the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.

Wyoming vs Illinois predictions

Predictions made on 8/25/2022 at 8:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Wyoming vs Illinois game info

Location: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
Date: Saturday, August 27, 2021
Kick-off: 5:00 p.m. ET

Wyoming vs Illinois betting preview


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Key injuries

Wyoming: Gunner Gentry WR (Out).
Illinois: Donovan Leary QB (Questionable).
Find our latest College football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Wyoming is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 vs. the Big Ten. Find more NCAA betting trends for Wyoming vs. Illinois.

Wyoming vs Illinois picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Neither Wyoming nor Illinois will announce its starting quarterback publicly ahead of Saturday’s game, but either Artur Sitkowski or Syracuse transfer Tommy DeVito will lead the Illini offense, while the Cowboys could lean on either Andrew Peasley or Evan Svoboda, both transfers.

Regardless of who’s behind center, the Illini, who were 5-7 last season, will focus on their ground game, with junior Chase Brown (1,005 yards, five touchdowns in 2021) and sophomore back Josh McCray (549 yards, 4.9 yards per carry) set to star in their rushing attack.

Illinois ranked dead last in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (156.2) behind quarterback Brandon Peters, and averaged 173.6 rushing yards per contest, along with 19.8 points per game (third-fewest in the Big Ten).

The Illini lost tight end Daniel Barker to the transfer portal and will replace him with Luke Ford, while Isaiah Williams (47 catches, 525 yards) should remain the No. 1 target in the receiving corps.

Illinois’ defense was decent last year, ranking seventh in yards allowed (366.3) and eighth in points surrendered (21.9) in the conference. The pass rush also tallied 30 sacks, the most by Illinois in the last decade. The D-line may be even stronger this year with the addition of Northwestern transfer TeRah Edwards.

New offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr., formerly with Arkansas and the UTSA Roadrunners, will attempt to right the team’s woes on offense, while second-year head coach Bret Bielema will try to achieve Illinois’ first winning season since 2011.

The Illini should start off on the right foot against a Wyoming team that suffered significant losses in the transfer portal, including receiver Isaiah Neyor (now with Texas), running back Xazavian Valladay (Arizona State), quarterbacks Sean Chambers (Montana State) and Levi Williams (Utah State), and a handful of defensive backs.

Valladay led the Cowboys in rushing with 1,070 yards, and Titus Swen (785 yards, seven rushing scores) will now be elevated to the lead back role.

Peasley played for Utah State for four years and saw some action on the field, going 28-of-51 passing for 415 yards and three touchdowns while throwing a pair of interceptions last season. He also ran for 147 yards and a score on 25 carries.

On defense, Wyoming was the best team in the Mountain West at defending the pass (177.5 yards allowed) but ranked third to last in rushing yards surrendered (169.1).

With so much turnover in the offseason, the Cowboys likely have some growing pains to work through and won’t be able to stop Illinois from running all over them on the Illini’s home turf.

Prediction: Illinois -11 (-110 at DraftKings)

Over/Under analysis

The passing offense may be a bit of a question mark for Wyoming as the Cowboys get accustomed to a new quarterback, but they can count on Swen to do solid work in the run game.

It may be a bit more difficult for Swen to keep his yards-per-carry average up against Illinois, however, as he’ll be playing behind a new offensive line, with just one starter returning in his natural position.

The defense also lost some players, like defensive backs Azizi Hearn (now with UCLA) and C.J. Coldon (Oklahoma), but the unit gained linebacker Cole DeMarzo from Michigan State, along with cornerbacks Deron Harrell from Wisconsin and Jakorey Hawkins from Mississippi.

The Cowboys will need their defense to step up if they have any chance of hanging with Illinois, as the offense may find it tough to answer should the Illini get off to a fast lead.

Illinois got off to a rough start last season and dropped non-conference games to UTSA and Virginia, then seemed to turn a corner on defense after the 42-14 loss to the Cavaliers.

Look for the Illini to come out much stronger to start 2022 by piling on a quick lead and grinding out the clock against a Wyoming team that will need some time to gel.

Prediction: Under 44 (-110 at DraftKings)

Best bet

Last season, Illinois ranked 93rd in tempo in all of college football while Wyoming was 113.

The Cowboys were dominant against non-conference foes, but the competition they faced against the likes of Montana State, Northern Illinois, Ball State, and Connecticut pales in comparison to what they’ll see from Illinois’ defense.

The Under is 8-2 in Illinois’ last 10 games overall and 14-5 in the Illini’s last 19 non-conference games.

Expect the defense to get after Wyoming’s newly formed offense and keep them from making many trips to the end zone.

PickUnder 44 (-110 at DraftKings)

College football parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Wyoming vs. Illinois picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college football parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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