No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Saturday, October 3rd, 2015, 3:30 pm EST
Where: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Ind.
TV: ABC, ESPN2, DirecTV 209
by Badger, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OSU -21/IND +21
Over/Under Total: 67
The top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes go on the road for the second time this season when they open the Big Ten season in Bloomingtons Memorial Stadium in a game against the undefeated Indiana Hoosiers Saturday on ABC.
The Buckeyes continue to stay ahead of the chase pack in college football, taking care of business in a solid, 38-12, victory over Western Michigan last weekend to move to an unscathed 4-0 record. Head coach Urban Meyer shouldnt have a hard time keeping the Buckeyes focused on this weeks game either, especially since the Hoosiers are a perfect 4-0 for the first time in 25 years and alumni and fans are certain to pack the Memorial at a fever pitch on Saturday with thoughts of sugar plums and upsets over the champs in their heads.
Indiana moved to 4-0 by dispatching Wake Forest in a stronger fashion than the score indicates, 31-24, last weekend on the road. The road win over Wake combined with a solid, 38-35, win over Western Kentucky the previous week has Hoosier fans believing in senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld and entertaining thoughts that 2015 might be their year.
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The folks setting the odds out in Las Vegas and offshore are less then impressed by the Hoosiers 4-0 start though, installing the Buckeyes as 19.5-point favorites when the opening point spread went up on the board. Since it opened, the number has gone up to an even higher minus -21 points at most sportsbooks as early money moved it up quickly. The over/under total opened at 62 and has since rocketed up to 66 at most books and as high as 67.5 at some.
Cardale Jones continues to lead the Buckeyes offense, and the offense continues to lean on Ezekiel Elliot when Ohio State has the ball. Typically the Buckeyes just outmuscle the Hoosiers defense along the line of scrimmage, but for the first time in years the staff at Indiana might have a front seven up to the task led by linebacker Marcus Oliver and DE Nick Mangieri off the edge.
Sudfeld has been solid leading the Hoosiers on offense thus far, throwing seven TDs to just one interception and nearly 1,000 yards in four games (938). But theres no denying the Buckeyes defense is going to cause havoc and big problems for Sudfeld and the Hoosiers on Saturday. The Buckeyes defense is 6th in the country in yards allowed and 10th in FBS allowing a meager 12.2 points per game.
You have to go all the way back to 1988 to find the last time the Hoosiers beat Ohio State on the field. Indiana is also 0-15 and has never beaten a team ranked No. 1 in the country, including when Ohio State visited as No. 1 in 2006 in a 44-3 Buckeye butt-whoopin. Ohio State is 5-1 ATS in their last five visits to Memorial Stadium. However, the underdog Hoosiers have gone 4-0 ATS in the past four season (although the were 36.5, 33.5, 27.5 and 19 point underdogs over the past four meetings).
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Indiana coach Kevin Wilson gets a pat on the back for putting the Hoosiers program in the right direction, but lets not think for a moment that the talent level between these two teams are getting closer. Indiana is a great early season story, but this week reality slaps Bloomington upside the face. Ohio State wins in a landslide, I just hope Indiana doesnt backdoor the point spread in garbage tie at the end. Im taking Ohio State minus -21 points.
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