Indiana vs Rutgers Odds, Picks | College Football Saturday Betting Guide
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Rutgers’ Joe Lusardi.
Indiana vs. Rutgers Odds
Rutgers and Indiana both look to end losing streaks as they face off in a Big Ten matchup Saturday.
Rutgers has lost three games in a row to Iowa, Ohio State and Nebraska. All three losses came because the offense was unable to move the ball, as it's averaging just 11 points per game. As a result, head coach Greg Schiano made a change at offensive coordinator before the bye week.
The Scarlet Knights have gotten healthy during the off-week and will enter this game with all of their quarterbacks available for the first time.
Meanwhile, Indiana has dropped four in a row because of its lackluster defense, allowing 37 points per game over its last four contests.
These two programs play with opposite playing styles, and whoever can dictate the pace will have the edge of ending its losing streak.
Indiana has followed the same trend as Rutgers this season, opening 3-0 before dropping its last four matchups against stiffer competition.
The Hoosiers have become one-dimensional offensively and are reliant on the arm of quarterback Connor Bazelak. The offensive passes the ball on 65% of its plays this season for an average of 52 passes per game, which is good for the fourth-most in the nation.
Bazelak is averaging only 5.6 yards per attempt on such plays to rank 120th in the country. The redshirt junior has completed a pass to the wrong team in all but one game this season.
The reason Indiana utilizes such a pass-heavy offense is the run game is nonexistent. The Hoosiers are averaging 1.9 yards per carry against FBS foes, which ranks dead last in the country. In their five matchups against Power Five competition, the offense has yet to rush for more than 70 yards in the game.
Fifty-two of the team’s 215 rushing attempts have resulted in a tackle for loss. That trend will continue in this game against a Rutgers defense that ranks 26th in Rushing Success Rate and fourth in Defensive Line Yards.
The Indiana defense has allowed 33 points per game this season to FBS competition. The secondary has been woefully bad, allowing opponents to complete 66% of their passes for an average of 7.8 yards per attempt.
The Hoosiers also rank 125th nationally in Passing Success Rate and 120th in coverage, perPFF.
Rutgers opened the season with three victories over Boston College, Temple and Wagner. But since the competition stiffened, the Scarlet Knights have floundered. Greg Schiano’s group lost its last three matchups to Big Ten opponents while being outscored by an average of 19 points during the span.
The main culprit for the decline has been the inconsistency of the offense, which averaged just 11 points over the last three games.
In the opening three victories, the Scarlet Knights averaged 230 yards on the ground. Against Iowa, Ohio State and Nebraska that number dropped down to just 94 yards per game.
As a result of the offensive decline, Schiano fired offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson ahead of the program’s bye week. The week off since has allowed Rutgers to get all three of its quarterbacks healthy for the first time this season.
Evan Simon has carried most of the workload under center to this point. He’s thrown four touchdowns to six interceptions while averaging six yards per attempt. Three of those interceptions came last time out against Nebraska.
Incumbent starter Noah Vedral returned from injury in that game and completed 6-of-15 passes for 133 yards.
And lastly, Gavin Wimsatt is set to return from a lower-body injury. Wimsatt appeared in the first three games of the season and is a proven dual-threat quarterback.
Add in a new offensive coordinator, and there's a level of mystery behind the Scarlet Knights’ offensive game plan for this matchup.
Indiana vs. Rutgers Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Indiana and Rutgers match up statistically:
Indiana Offense vs. Rutgers Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Rutgers Offense vs. Indiana Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||32||41|
|Seconds per Play||18.8 (1)||28.4 (102)|
|Rush Rate||38.9% (127)||58.9% (27)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Indiana vs. Rutgers Betting Pick
There's no sugarcoating how bad both programs have looked over the last month. The good news is one of the two programs will end its losing streak.
Indiana possesses a one-dimensional offense that has thrown the ball at the fourth-highest rate in the country. Rutgers has been solid against the pass, ranking 42nd in coverage, per PFF, and 34th in Passing Success Rate Allowed.
The Hoosiers haven’t run the ball well all season, and that will continue in this matchup. That may hurt them in this matchup, as Bazelak has thrown eight interceptions total, including one in six of his seven starts this season.
Rutgers plays with a slow pace with a run-first focus offensively. It will eat the clock and tire out an Indiana defense that has been on the field a lot this season.
The Scarlet Knights offense will also have all of their quarterbacks at their disposal for the first time this season, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see some trickery from the offense.
The Rutgers defense has been solid this season and will be able to shut down the one-dimensional Indiana offense.
Expect the Scarlet Knights to expose the Hoosiers' lackluster defense enough to end their three-game losing streak.