Indiana at Michigan State Betting Breakdown:
- Spread: Indiana -7.5
- Moneyline: Indiana -315; Maryland +235
- Over/Under: 51.5
*Odds via DraftKings.com
Prior to the Big Ten getting underway, Indiana’s odds of winning the national championship nearly reached as high as +50000. When their season did get underway, their odds of winning the Big Ten were not much better (+30000)—which translates into a .33 percent chance of winning the conference.
Now, they were not supposed to be a bad team this year. Head coach Tom Allen has done a good job with the team since taking over three years ago. But undefeated and ranked No. 10 in the nation? Yeah, anyone that says they saw that coming is not telling the truth.
But this is also when things are going to start getting real for the Hoosiers. People are going to start expecting things of them. They are not going to be underestimated like they were against Michigan for the rest of the season—which makes this week’s game against Michigan State a deadly one for them.
For three weeks, they have heard nothing but good things— which is not the norm for Indiana football. It would be too easy to believe what everyone is saying, get overconfident, and then lose the edge that has helped them win their first three games.
A team like Michigan State would love nothing more than to be the ones to remind Indiana who they really are.
Indiana Hoosiers Betting Preview
When a team is not accustomed to success, people tend to do two things: overcompensate with praise and begin to expect too much or try to find an explanation for the appearance of success.
After the win over Penn State in the season opener, it was easy. The Hoosiers won more because of Penn State’s mistakes than anything they did. Beating Rutgers the following week helped legitimize them, but a more dominant win would have been nice.
So, then they follow that win with an impressive one over Michigan.
The defense played a more significant role in the win over Penn State, but the offense has been better the last two weeks. However, if Indiana is going to continue its newfound winning ways, the offense will need to continue to evolve.
They are currently ranked No. 101 in total yards and just 116th in the run game (48th passing). They seem to make the most of their yards and put points on the board (37.0 points/game; 25th). But if they are going to beat the better teams on their schedule, they will need to become better at controlling the ball.
While Michigan State’s defense gives up 37.0 points/game (97th), they can be tough to gain yards on (377.7 yards/game; 45th). Like the Hoosiers, the Spartans are good enough to take advantage of mistakes, too (just ask Michigan fans).
Michigan State Spartans Betting Preview
Expectations are always low when a team has a first-year head coach, but they should be lower this year for the new Spartans head coach, Mel Tucker. With the coronavirus wreaking havoc on the offseason, it had to be next to impossible for him to get his system installed.
That could explain the Spartans 38-27 loss to Rutgers in the season opener. But then how do you explain their 27-24 win the following week against Michigan?
Committing seven turnovers against Rutgers did not help matters much. Maybe the zero turnover game they had against Michigan was more indicative of who Michigan State would be (or could be) this year?
The 49-7 loss to Iowa last week that included three interceptions by Rocky Lombardi does make it seem like ball security could be the key. That could be a problem this week since the Hoosiers are tied for third in the nation in turnover margin.
An argument could be made that the Spartans are one of those teams that needed their non-conference slate to get the kinks worked out. That could explain the uneven performances they have had to date. When they struggle to get everyone on the same page, they lose.
But if they can get off to a hot start against a good, but not great, Indiana team—they might have a chance. If they do not, Indiana will take advantage of any and all mistakes and not look back as they run up the score.
Indiana at Michigan State Betting Prediction
Indiana is new to winning and having things expected of them, but they will be fine this week against a Michigan State team that is still trying to find an identity and some consistency on offense. The game may be competitive early on but look for Indiana to win comfortably in the end.
Take Indiana to win straight up and against the spread. However, while the Hoosiers offense should be fine, don’t expect too much from the Spartans. Regarding the total, take the under.
Travis’ Best Bet: Indiana -7.5 and UNDER 51.5