Indiana Hoosiers (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0
SU, 4-1 ATS), Week 6 NCAA Football, 12:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, October
9, 2010, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio, TV: ESPN
by Badger, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Ind +23/OSU -23
Over/Under Total: 57.5
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After surviving a mild scare in the form of one of the Big Ten
Conferences I-teams last weekend, Illinois, the No. 2 ranked Ohio
State Buckeyes will host another one of the conferences I-teams when
the Indiana Hoosiers invade the Horseshoe of Ohio Stadium this Saturday.
Ohio State was held to just 290 yards of total offense and actually
trailed at one point before halftime in their 24-13 victory of
Illinois last week. But thanks to a powerful running game (213 yards,
5.1 ypc) the Buckeyes were able to add a late score in the final
minutes to put some distance between them and the Illini on the final
Meanwhile, Indiana gave the Michigan Wolverines all they could handle in their conference opener last weekend, rallying to tie the game at
35-35 with just over a minute to play in the game. But Michigans
Denard Robinson drove the Wolverines down the field quickly and
scored the game-winning touchdown with just 17 seconds remaining to
break the hearts and backs of the Hoosiers, 42-35.
With a moral victory and a little bit of respect on their side, now
the Hoosiers will try and do the unthinkable and pull off the major
shocker by toppling the mighty Buckeyes in front of the home crowd at
Oddsmakers have made the Hoosiers upset bid a large one, installing
the Buckeyes as huge 24-point favorites when the point spread opened
early in the week. The early steam at the window has lowered the
number to minus -23 at most offshore sportsbooks already, with a few
22.5 starting to pop up on the boards at the sportsbooks in Las Vegas
The over/under total is still off the board at a large majority of
the sportsbooks on the Web, but the few that have released a number
are currently listing the total at 57.5.
For the first time this season Buckeyes QB Terrelle Pryor had a few
issues throwing the ball last weekend, finishing the Illini game just
9-of-16 for 76 yards and just 4-of-12 on 3rd down conversions. He did
have two touchdowns in the air (and one interception), and he added
104 yards rushing, so even when he appears to struggle the Ohio State
offense seems to be able to continue rolling.
Pryor and the Buckeyes will be facing an Indiana defense that gave up
574 yards of total offense to Michigan last week and their duel-
threat at quarterback Robinson. If the Hoosiers dont find a way to
cut down on those numbers quickly you can expect Pryor to run up big
stats this week too.
Unfortunately, the Hoosiers troubles on defense overshadowed what was
a breakout game on offense by quarterback Ben Chappell and the
offense. Chappell set numerous school records last week when he threw
for 480 yards and three scores in the Michigan game, but with the
defenses inability to stop the other team it wont matter how many
points and yards the Hoosiers rack up on the scoreboard.
The Hoosiers pass-happy spread attack (64 attempts vs. Michigan) on
offense could be a double-edged sword in this game. The Buckeyes
secondary is the weakest link of its defensive unit, but its still
only allowing 161 yards in the air on average (18th in NCAA). Plus,
the Buckeyes defensive line will be able to pin their ears back and
rush the passer every down, something they did that caused four
interceptions and constant havoc in their victory over Miami earlier
Ohio State has owned the series with Indiana for a long time too.
After two years of not having to face the Buckeyes, the Hoosiers
started up the head-to-head series again last season with a 33-14
loss at home. The win was the 15th in a row for Ohio State and also
the fifth cover in a row as 18-point favorites.
In fact, the Buckeyes are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings and that
includes covering some big point spreads, like the 31-points they
covered in 2006 (a 44-3 win) and 24-points in 1998 (a 38-7 win).
For what its worth, the under is trending toward a play in this game
since its 3-1-1 in the last five meetings. Its also 6-2-1 in the
Buckeyes last nine conference games.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: You can call off the upset alert because I think the
Buckeyes are just too strong and talented to let one slip away at
home in the Shoe. However, Indiana has closed the talent gap and
should be able to stay in it with Chappell and the offense chuckin
and duckin 70 times a game. Im taking Indiana plus the 23-points.