Indiana vs. Michigan State Betting Odds & Picks: Buy or Sell Top-10 Hoosiers in East Lansing?
Joe Robbins/Getty Images. Pictured: Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
Indiana vs. Michigan State Odds
|Indiana Odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Michigan State Odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-286 / +225 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||52.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
Indiana and Michigan State meet in East Lansing, Michigan, on Saturday, with the Big Ten teams trending in opposite directions.
The Hoosiers are off to a surprise 3-0 start, reaching no. 10 in this week’s AP Top 25 poll. With Ohio State’s game against Maryland postponed, a win over Michigan State would put Indiana alone in first place in the Big Ten East.
On the other side, the Spartans appeared to have their season back on track after a win over Michigan two weeks ago. But, then, everything went wrong for the Spartans in a 49-7 loss to Iowa in their most recent outing.
The hype in Bloomington, Indiana surrounding this program is at an all-time high. With victories against Michigan and Penn State, along with a top-10 ranking, Hoosiers fans are currently on top of the world.
While the optimism around the program is certainly justified, I’m hesitant to fully buy into Indiana.
The offense has been far from efficient, currently ranking 101st in the nation in total offense. The Hoosiers are gaining just 4.7 yards per play and were somehow able to pull out the win over Penn State despite being out-gained by 277 yards. They’ve looked a little better each week since, but haven’t been able to establish any sort of consistency.
Running back Stevie Scott is Indiana’s best offensive player, with the Hoosiers giving him a heavy workload. However, it has been tough sledding so far for Scott, who’s managing just 3.6 yards per carry.
Penn State put the book out on how to contain Scott, holding him to only 66 yards on 20 carries. The offensive line simply has to be better, but coordinator Kalen DeBoer also needs to help Scott and get him the ball in space.
Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has had his ups and downs, but played his best game of the season against Michigan, throwing for 342 yards and three touchdowns. His 250 yards per game and 7-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio are impressive numbers. However, his 59% pass accuracy could improve.
Indiana’s defense is the main reason the Hoosiers are 3-0 on the season. The team ranks in the top 40 in total and rushing defense, only surrendering 5.3 yards per play. Indiana has been fantastic in the red zone, only allowing five opponent scores in nine trips inside the 20.
The Hoosiers have been incredibly opportunistic on defense as well, forcing eight turnovers through the first three games.
Michigan State Spartans
The only way to describe Michigan’s State’s first three games is a roller coaster. The Spartans began the season losing to Rutgers as double-digit favorites. After being written off following that loss, Michigan State went on to beat its in-state rival as more than a three-touchdown, road underdog.
Last week, the Spartans were expected to keep it close at Iowa, but nothing went right for them in a blowout loss.
Offensively, the Spartans appeared to have turned a corner in the Michigan win. Quarterback Rocky Lombardi was slinging the rock and had the best game of his career, throwing for 323 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman wide receiver Ricky White burst onto the scene with a host of big plays, torching the Michigan secondary for 196 yards and a touchdown.
Between White and Western Michigan transfer Jayden Reed, Michigan State has reloaded at the wide-receiver position and given Lombardi a pair of talented targets on the outside.
However, the Spartans fell behind early against Iowa and counted on Lombardi to get them back into the game. Instead, he only contributed to the deficit with a trio of first-half interceptions that led to Iowa touchdowns. Throw in a punt-return touchdown for Iowa late in the second quarter and things really got out of hand before halftime, with the Spartans trailing 35-0 at the break.
Despite only returning three starters from last season, the Spartans’ defense has been solid. It ranks just a few spots behind Indiana in total defense and played well against their common opponents — Rutgers and Michigan.
The Spartans have been strong against the pass, holding foes to 216 yards per game and just 5.9 yards per attempt. Look for Michigan State to stack the box and key on Scott, then force Penix to try to beat it through the air.
Betting Analysis & Pick
These teams are very similar in many areas on paper, but one key statistic separates them. That would be turnover margin.
Both teams outgained Rutgers by more than 100 yards. However, the Hoosiers were plus-three in turnover margin and won by 16 points. As for Michigan State, it was minus-four in turnover margin and lost by 11 points.
On the season, these teams’ turnover differentials are almost exactly opposite, with Indiana at a plus-six margin and Michigan State at minus-seven.
Huge turnover differentials lead to misleading final scores, which often bring on bad numbers tied to the spread in subsequent weeks. I think that’s the case here, as I make this game closer to a Pick’em situation.
Of course, the possibility exists these turnover trends continue, but I think there’s a better chance we see a regression to the mean on both sides. I see a lot of value in the Spartans catching a touchdown at home.
Pick: Michigan State +7 (down to +4)