Illinois football starts the 2023 season at home against the tough Toledo Rockets.
This game is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. ET in Champaign. The Illini, after coming off an eight-win campaign, look to have another great year. This Rockets team isn’t a cakewalk, though.
In the first AP Top 25 poll released a couple of weeks ago, Toledo actually had one more vote than Illinois to be in the top 25. This should be an interesting game and one that the Illini need to be on their toes for this Saturday.
With football now back in the fold, that also means gambling is going to be kicking up a notch. So, let’s take a look at the opening lines.
Initial look at the opening betting lines for Illinois football vs. Toledo Rockets
Full Game – Illinois Fighting Illini -9, Toledo Rockets +9
I actually like this line for Illinois. I think early on could be a struggle, but Illinois should pull away from the Rockets late. Initially, I would say take Illinois -9.
1st Quarter – Illinois Fighting Illini -2.5, Toledo Rockets +2.5
I could see this game being tied after one quarter of play. With a new quarterback behind center, Illinois could start slowly. I would probably take Toledo +2.5 with the initial look.
1st Half – Illinois Fighting Illini -5.5, Toledo Rockets +5.5
It wouldn’t surprise me to see Illinois catch a little fire in the second quarter. Luke Altymer gets his feet underneath him and takes a 14-3 lead going into halftime. Take Illinois -5.5.
Full Game – Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Toledo Rockets – Over/Under 46 points
I think, by the end of the game, Illinois will have around 46 points by themselves. With the initial look, take the over 46 points.
1st Quarter – Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Toledo Rockets – Over/Under 9.5 points
It is the first game of the season with some major roster adjustments. Both teams will probably be cold. I would pound the under 9.5 first quarter points.
1st Half – Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Toledo Rockets – Over/Under 23.5 points
I also like the under 23.5 points in the first half. I believe the second half will bear many more points, the first half could be a struggle at times.
Full Game – Illinois Fighting Illini -375 vs. Toledo Rockets +295
Illinois should win this game outright by a wide margin. I like Illinois -375, but you aren’t going to make much money off this bet.
1st Quarter – Illinois Fighting Illini -218 vs. Toledo Rockets +180
This is where I see some value. There is a chance that Toledo might get a field goal and win the first quarter 3-0 due to Illinois working through some rust. If you want to take a gamble on the moneyline, I would do Rockets +180 in the first quarter.
1st Half – Illinois Fighting Illini -290 vs. Toledo Rockets +235
I believe Illinois will lead by halftime of this game. Toledo’s defense won’t be able to handle the Illini balanced attack. Do Illinois -290 in the first half.