College Football Odds & Picks for Indiana vs. Ohio State: Betting Value on Buckeyes
James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave.
- We have a top-10 Big Ten matchup on our hands as the Ohio State Buckeyes host the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday.
- The Buckeyes' rise to the top of the conference standings is very unsurprising, but the Hoosiers weren't expected to be in this position at this point in the season.
- Check out Collin Wilson's full betting preview with updated odds below.
Indiana vs. Ohio State Odds
|Indiana Odds||+20.5 [BET NOW]|
|Ohio State Odds||-20.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+670/-1025 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||66 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, noon ET|
Based solely on the eye test, the Hoosiers are legitimate Big Ten contenders with an undefeated record straight up and against the spread. However, there is probable cause for further inspection.
Indiana has beaten Michigan State, Rutgers, Michigan and Penn State. If their records against each other aren’t included, Indiana’s opponents have a combined 1-13 record.
Head coach Tom Allen was a former defensive coordinator, and that side of the Indiana equation has been stable. The Hoosiers rank 18th in tackling, per Pro Football Focus grading. The team also reports a top-10 defensive Havoc rating, derived from 27 passes defended and 26 tackles for loss.
Indiana’s opponents are averaging just 2.4 points per trip past the 40-yard line, making Indiana one of the best defenses at limiting scores. Opponents have only driven past the Hoosiers’ 40-yard line nine times this season, with the defense allowing just five touchdowns on those drives in four games.
Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes are the top overall team in Offensive Success Rate, with that overall rating breaking down to 17th in the rushing game and seventh in passing attempts.
Yet, anyway you slice it, no one is moving the chains better than Ohio State.
While Justin Fields is completing plenty of explosive plays through the air, an Offensive Rushing Expected Points rank of 75th exposes the breakaway speed of the Ohio State running game.
Justin Fields wasting NO time🚀
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 8, 2020
Running backs Trey Sermon and Master Teague III average no more than 3.1 yards after contact, which tells you Ohio State has been on cruise control without facing a quality run-stop unit. However, at some point this season, a defense that can play one-on-one coverage will give the Buckeyes issues.
Defensively, only the Nebraska ground game has been able to get a punch in on the Buckeyes. The Cornhuskers put up more than 200 yards rushing on the Buckeyes’ front seven, something Rutgers and Penn State were unable to replicate.
Ohio State’s 118th-place rank in defensive Power Success reveals a key deficiency: Any opposing offense that is successful in short-yardage rush attempts will handle the Buckeyes. Opponents have also been able to score when reaching the red zone, as Ohio State ranks 105th in opponent red-zone scoring percentage.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The job for Indiana is to expose the holes revealed by the Buckeyes’ advanced statistics. Nebraska found some success rushing against Ohio State, but the Hoosiers’ ground game is one of the worst in the nation.
The Buckeyes rank 102nd in Defensive Passing Success Rate, a known issue for a secondary that has been in preparations for two weeks after a COVID-19 disruption in the schedule.
Ryan Day acknowledged the pressure must be turned up on Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. Both edge rushers — Tyreke Smith and Jonathon Cooper — have recorded seven pressures a piece, an element needed with a struggling secondary.
Of the three cornerbacks receiving the most snaps, Shaun Wade, Marcus Williamson and Sevyn Banks have combined for only two pass breakups on 28 targeted throws. Penix has graded the highest on deep passes between the hash marks, but might need a plan to go at the sidelines at a higher clip.
Digging into the quality of opponents Indiana has faced, it becomes apparent the Hoosiers simply haven’t competed against a talented pass rush. Penn State produced one quarterback hurry, and Michigan recorded zero sacks.
Without a running game, Penix will be throwing early and often. If he has success, this game flies over the total. If Penix cannot take advantage of poor Buckeye corner play, Ohio State covers.
The Buckeyes’ speed will be a complete change of pace from what Indiana saw in its first four games. This is a major step up in talent level, and Indiana has shown nothing that can stop Fields.
Ohio State put up 51 points in Bloomington, Ind., last season, and there’s no reason to think that output will change Saturday in Columbus
Pick: Ohio State -10.5 1H | Ohio State Team Total Over 42.5 or better.