College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Indiana vs. Michigan: Low Scoring Game in Big Ten?
Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Aidan Hutchinson.
Indiana vs. Michigan Odds
|Indiana Odds||+20.5 (-112)|
|Michigan Odds||-20.5 (-109)|
|Moneyline||+900 / -1667|
|Time||Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday and via BetRivers|
People wonder why I hate the Michigan Wolverines after finding out I was born and raised in the state and have lived here all 26 years of my life.
Want to know why? Look at last weekend. I finally believe in the Wolverines and back Jim Harbaugh, only to have my heart ripped out. That’s on me for believing in someone who chokes when the calendar switches to November.
OK, enough hate on Michigan. Honestly, I still believe in the Wolverines. Not all Big Ten hopes are lost, as they can still squeak in by winning out with some help from Michigan State losing to Ohio State and one other game. It’s easier said than done, but it’s still possible.
Indiana, meanwhile, is just trying to get this season over with as fast as possible. It sits at 2-6 and is about to go against its sixth ranked opponent this season after dropping all five of them so far.
With Michigan coming in pissed off, it will be interesting to see if it can cover close to three touchdowns with little to no explosiveness. Will we see another November Harbaugh letdown?
Let’s find out.
As Indiana struggles on both ends of the football, it’s the offense that’s really hurting. It ranks 80th or worse in nearly every offensive metric except for pass blocking (74th). It’s struggled to move down the field, let alone put up points.
The passing metrics have taken a nosedive as the season has gone along, and the Hoosiers are now on their third quarterback of the year due to injuries. Backup Donaven McCulley had a modest outing in his last game out, throwing for 242 yards and two touchdowns.
McCulley looks to be the starter again as Michael Penix Jr. is still listed as questionable.
Whether it is Penix or McCulley under center, the Hoosiers will have a hard time getting the passing game going, as Michigan constantly brings pressure with a fantastic defensive line.
If Indiana wants to have a puncher’s chance, then it will have to find a way to stop one of the most run-heavy teams in the nation. Michigan brings in a duo of running backs and a very successful run game.
It very well makes things interesting, as Indiana ranks 23rd in Def. Line Yards, stopping any pushback the offensive line tries to give it. While the Def. Rush Success is less than ideal at 63rd, the defensive line may bail it out by generating some pressure in the backfield.
One interesting area of concern will be the pass defense. Indiana has a very poor Def. Pass Success and Def. Pass Rush rating, but Michigan’s pass attack is almost nonexistent.
If Indiana can stop the few pass attempts and limit the run, it will find itself comfortably within the number.
I’m starting to believe the outward success of the Michigan defense is overshadowing how sneaky good this offense is.
Michigan is both efficient and effective. It’s not pretty by any means, but it can move the ball down the field. The Wolverines take care of the ball by being No. 1 in the nation in Havoc Allowed and gain small chunks at a time.
They feature one of the best running back tandems in college football with Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins.
The duo has combined for 1,425 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns so far this season, leading to a Rush Success ranking of 22nd in the nation. They managed that mark even with an average offensive line that ranks only 64th in Line Yards.
An area of concern for the Michigan offense is the lack of Finishing Drives. It’s have stalled out past the 40-yard line, ranking 69th in Finishing Drives.
If the Wolverines want to be a real threat to win it all, they will need to put up points — especially when the competition gets tougher with Ohio State down the road.
Wildly regarded as one of the best defensive units in football not named Georgia, this defense took a little step back, as it had no answers to stopping Heisman candidate Kenneth Walker III.
I’m still not discouraged about this defense, as it took a career game out of Walker for Michigan State to pick up the win.
This defensive line is legit. It has one of the best defensive ends in football in Aidan Hutchinson, who has been a terror to opposing backfields and quarterbacks.
Hutchinson and company have led this defense to very impressive metrics, including top-30 ranks in every defensive category. It’s most notable mark is Def. Pass Rush, which sits third in the nation.
Indiana will struggle to find any production on the offensive end, as it’s simply outmatched in every area compared to Michigan’s defense.
Indiana vs. Michigan Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Indiana and Michigan match up statistically:
Indiana Offense vs. Michigan Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Michigan Offense vs. Indiana Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||89||3|
|Plays per Minute||66||94|
|Rush Rate||51.9% (87)||62.7% (14)|
Indiana vs. Michigan Betting Pick
As much as I want to take Michigan -20 in a bounce-back spot, three touchdowns is a lot to cover for one of the least explosive teams in the country.
Instead, I will rely on the more trustworthy unit: the Michigan defense.
I can’t find an area that Indiana will succeed on the offensive end in this matchup. Michigan’s defense is far superior in every metric compared to Indiana’s offense.
On the other end, Michigan is an under bettor’s dream, as it consistently runs the ball for small gains at a very efficient rate, which constantly drains the clock. The Wolverines also struggle to score past the 40, resulting in time-consuming drives with no points.
Indiana’s defense is not ideal, but it does excel at limiting any offensive line push — a potential area for it to slow down the Michigan offense if it can stop the run at the line.
I expect this one to be boring and ugly, which is exactly what we need to get the under ticket to the window.
I grabbed an under 51.5 and would play this no less than 51.
Pick: Under 51.5 (Play to 51)
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