The 22nd-ranked Mississippi Bulldogs will look to honor their late coach Mike Leach with their second bowl victory in three years when they take on the Illinois Fighting Illini in the ReliaQuest Bowl on Monday in Tampa, Florida. The Bulldogs (8-4, 4-4 in the SEC), who finished the regular season with three wins over the past four games, have compiled a 14-11 bowl record, winning 10 of their last 15 bowl appearances. The Fighting Illini (8-4, 5-4 in the Big Ten), who lost three of their last four games to cost them the Big Ten West title, is 8-11 in bowl games, but just 2-4 in bowls since 2001. This will be just the third meeting between the schools, who split the previous two matchups.
Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium is set for noon ET. Mississippi State is favored by 3 points at Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under is set at 45.5 (see up-to-date odds for every game this week on our college football odds page).
Before making any Mississippi State vs. Illinois picks, you NEED to check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past six-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $2,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen HUGE returns.
The model knows junior quarterback Will Rogers will look to spark the Mississippi State offense after a solid regular season. In 12 games behind center, he completed 386 of 566 passes (68.2%) for 3,713 yards and 34 touchdowns with just six interceptions and a rating of 141. He has thrown for 300 or more yards seven times, including a season-high 450 yards in a 49-23 season-opening win over Memphis. In that game, he completed 38 of 49 passes (77.6%) for five touchdowns and one interception. He has thrown 11 touchdowns over the past four games, including five in a 56-7 win over East Tennessee State on Nov. 19.
The model also knows Illinois is led by senior quarterback Tommy DeVito, who ranks third in the nation at 69.9% in completions. His 142.3 passer rating is on pace to break the Illini record of 141.6 set by Wes Lunt in 2014. For the year, he has completed 234 of 335 passes for 2,397 yards and 15 touchdowns with four interceptions. He completed 24 of 32 passes (75%) for 332 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-0 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga on Sept. 22.
Now, it has set its sights on Mississippi State vs. Illinois. We can tell you the model is leaning Under the total, and it also says one side of the spread hits in well over 60% of simulations! You ABSOLUTELY need to see it before locking in any college football picks.
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