Saturday, November 14, 2020, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing Michigan, noon ET
Hoosiers at Spartans Betting Preview: Hoosiers (-7.5), Spartans (+7.5)
Indiana Hoosiers Betting Preview
After their stunning victory over Penn State in their opener, the No. 10 Hoosiers (3-0, 3-0 Big Ten) look to validate their new-found status in their visit to Michigan State.
The Hoosiers this week cracked the Top 10 of The Associated Press football poll for the first time since 1969 and are off to then best start in Big Ten play since 1988.
Next on the Hoosiers’ long list of goals is gaining the Old Brass Spittoon, a trophy they haven’t won since 2016. Indiana came close last season, falling 40-31 at Michigan State in a game that came down to the final minutes.
Fourth-year Indiana coach Tom Allen called it “a trophy game for us here that we have placed a high value on … and have not been able to obtain that trophy since I have been the head coach here. And so, just really excited about our opportunity to play a very tough, hard-nosed, hard-playing football team that we know is going to be playing their best football.”
Indiana has raced to a perfect start behind a defense that has forced eight takeaways, plus a balanced offense led by sophomore quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and running back Stevie Scott III.
Penix passed for a career-high 342 yards and three touchdowns in Indiana’s 38-21 win over Michigan last week and Scott rushed for a season-high 97 yards and two TDs.
“We have been having a great season so far, but the season is not over,” Penix said. “We still have games that we are looking forward to, like Michigan State this weekend. This is a great program, so we have to come with a positive mind set.”
Penix is 8-1 as a starting quarterback, with his loss coming at Michigan State last season.
Michigan State Spartans Betting Preview
The Spartans (1-2, 1-2 Big Ten) are looking to bounce back from last week’s 49-7 whipping at Iowa that followed their 27-24 win over Michigan. The Spartans opened with a 38-27 loss to Rutgers.
Spartans starting quarterback Rocky Lombardi was intercepted three times in the loss to the Hawkeyes, giving him five picks in 112 pass attempts.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do at quarterback, at every position,” first-year Michigan State coach Mel Tucker said.
Tucker is still trying to build a cohesive team after losing 15 starters from last season.
Jayden Reed (13 catches, 153 yards) and Jalen Nailor (12-271) have provided a spark offensively, but the Spartans have been unable to get their ground game going, averaging a league-worst 78.3 yards a game. Jordon Simmons is the team rushing leader with just 132 yards for a 3.6 per carry average.
Tucker added a segment during Michigan State’s practice on Monday to address fundamentals.
“You cannot scheme your way out of a game if you don’t play with fundamentals and physical and mental toughness,” he said.
Hoosiers at Spartans Betting Pick for November 14, 2020
The Spartans lead the overall series 48-16-2 and have won the last three meetings and 10 of the last 11. Indiana’s only win in that span was 24-21 in 2016. Last year Penix had a big day, passing for 286 yards and three touchdowns against the Spartans but the Spartans still won 40-31, scoring nine points in the last five seconds on a field goal and fumble recovery in the end zone.
Hoosiers at Spartans Betting Pick:
Hoosiers 38, Spartans 18
Hoosiers at Spartans Best Bet for November 14, 2020
The Spartans have scored only 61 points in three games and are coming off a 49-7 whipping at Iowa. The Hoosiers have scored in the 30s in all three of their games and spanked Michigan 38-21 their last outing.
Hoosiers at Spartans Best Bet: OVER 51.5