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Mississippi State vs. Illinois odds heading into ReliaQuest Bowl

The Bulldogs face off against the Fighting Illini in Tampa.

Purdue v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Mississippi State Bulldogs will face the Illinois Fighting Illini in the ReliaQuest Bowl at 12:00 p.m. ET on January 2 in Tampa. The game is scheduled to air on ESPN2.

The Illinois Fighting Illini (8-4, 5-4 B1G) began the season 7-1, but dropped three games in a row in November to end at 8-4. This is the Illini’s first winning regular season since 2007, and first bowl game appearance since 2019, when they lost to Cal in the Redbox Bowl. This will mark the 20th postseason berth in program history.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4, 4-4 SEC) will play in their 26th bowl game in program history and made it all three seasons in the Mike Leach era. The Bulldogs threw the ball at a higher percentage (68.6) of their offensive snaps than any other team this season, but Mississippi State ranks outside the top 100 in yards per rush (3.4) and yards per pass (6.3).

Mississippi State vs. Illinois opening odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Pick ‘em
Total: 45