Heart of Dallas Bowl: Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech Free Picks & Odds
by Josh Schonwald - 12/17/2014
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The Illinois Fighting Illini (6-6) will try to end their season on a three-game winning streak when they face the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-5) on December 26 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The Fighting Illini were fifth in the Big Ten West standings this season, while the Bulldogs finished in the top spot in the Conference USA West.
Illinois got into a bowl game by beating Northwestern 47-33 in their final regular season game of the year. In that win, the Fighting Illini gained 438 yards against Northwestern's defense and were able to force their offense into committing five turnovers.
In 12 games this season, the Fighting Illini allowed their opponents to score 33.9 points per game against them. Wide receiver Mike Dudek has been one of their most consistent offensive players this season by catching 69 passes for 965 yards and six touchdowns. Quarterback Wes Lunt has thrown for 1,729 yards with 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Two weeks ago, Louisiana Tech gave up the lead late in the Conference USA championship game and were beaten 26-23 by Marshall. Their offense struggled in that loss, finishing with just 268 total yards.
The Bulldogs finished the season with one of the top offensive teams in the country by averaging 37.5 points per game. Quarterback Cody Sokol has had a pretty good season by completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 3,189 yards with 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Trends
Illinois Fighting Illini are 5-7-0 Against the Spread
Illinois Fighting Illini are 7-5-0 against the Over/Under
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Betting Trends
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are 10-3-0 Against the Spread
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are 9-3-0 against the Over/Under
Injuries to Watch
Illinois Fighting Illini
12/07/14 OL Jake Angona Undisclosed out for season
11/21/14 OL Peter Cvijanovic Shoulder out for season
11/15/14 OG Ted Karras Knee out for season
10/31/14 DL Kenny Nelson Undisclosed out for season
10/21/14 DT Teko Powell Foot out for season
09/13/14 LB Sean White Undisclosed out for season
08/08/14 LB Mike Svetina Foot out indefinitely
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
12/07/14 DL Aaron Brown Suspension expected to miss Friday vs. Illinois
12/07/14 OL Mitchell Bell Suspension expected to miss Friday vs. Illinois
12/07/14 LB Terrell Pinson Suspension expected to miss Friday vs. Illinois
12/07/14 RB Tevin King Suspension expected to miss Friday vs. Illinois
12/07/14 LB Tony Johnson Suspension expected to miss Friday vs. Illinois
12/07/14 OL Tre Carter Suspension expected to miss Friday vs. Illinois
09/16/14 DL Malcolm Pichon Suspension out indefinitely
Josh's Pick: Take Illinois
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