No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (3-1 SU, 3-0 ATS), Memorial Stadium, October 3rd, 7:00 p.m. Eastern, Bloomington, IN
By Oracle of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Ohio St. -17.5/Indiana +17.5
Bet this game at an online bookie that offers a free half point once a week as well as reduced betting odds once a week: Sportbet.
Break out the Hoosiers.
When Big Ten gurus looked at this second week matchup between Ohio St. and Indiana, most passed it over as if to say it was a no-brainer.
However, the start Indiana University has had to this season may have changed the minds of many heading into this contest being played in Bloomington on Saturday evening. Indiana was up for much of the game against a ranked and undefeated Michigan team in the Big House last weekend, but fell to the Wolverines, 36-33. Sure, IU beat the likes of Western Kentucky, Akron and Western Michigan to start 3-0 on the year, but the Hoosiers won a total of three games the entire season a year ago.
Meanwhile, Ohio St. has come back to the recognizable old form the past few weeks by a couple of dominating defensive performances.
For this reason, online sportsbooks have the Buckeyes opening up at 17.5 point favorites on the road.
The over/under is somewhat miniscule at 45 total points.
The Hoosiers havent had any luck against OSU, losing 14 straight to the perennial powerhouse by an average of 22.7 points. They havent beat the Buckeyes since 1988 and are just 2-23-1 at home in Bloomington.
After losing against USC, the Buckeyes have put together back-to-back shutouts against Toledo and Illinois, while putting up 68 points themselves. Terrelle Pryor is coming into his own as well. He was efficient against Illinois going 8-for-13 with 82 yards and a score while adding 59 rushing yards. Pryor, who leads the team in passing and rushing, led the balanced attack and was somewhat limited in the rain.
The defense of OSU will be without second-team All-Big Ten strong safety Kurt Coleman on Saturday because of a helmet-to-helmet hit that garnered him a one-game suspension. The defense has held its own though by giving up just 11.7 points per game 7th in the nation. They also give up just 258.8 yards a game, which is good enough for 16th in the country.
If bettors think OSU will run all over the Hoosiers, they will have to keep a close eye on running back Daniel Herron. The teams second leading rusher with 233 yards and a team leading five touchdowns is questionable with an ankle injury.
The stout Buckeyes defense will have to go up against a Hoosiers offense that put up 467 yards against Michigan last weekend and averages nearly 400 yards a game (46th in nation).
Quarterback Ben Chappell has opened some eyes in the Big Ten by running the spread offense effectively. He has thrown for a lofty 944 yards and three touchdowns this season.
Tandon Doss, who has a team leading 26 catches for 374 yards, but no scores, is his favorite target. Doss is one of five players who has at least eight catches on the season.
But if Indiana becomes one dimensional against OSU, they wont have a shot. Itll be the running back combo of Demetrius McCray and Darius Willis who will be key to keeping the Buckeyes defense on its toes. The two have combined for 450 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Although in the same conference, these two teams havent met since 2006 when Ohio State dominated the contest 44-3. That head-to-head matchup can be thrown out as far as trends go.
Both teams have started off the year great against the spread. OSU is 3-1, just like their straight up record, while Indiana is a perfect 3-0 ATS.
In fact, OSU is 7-1 ATS in their last eight games overall and tend to cover as favorites, going 6-1 in their last seven.
Being in the cellar for so long, Indiana doesnt have a lot of betting trends on their side other than their perfect 3-0 start on the year and 4-1 record ATS in their last five.
With OSUs stellar defense, the under is 4-1 in their last five games. On the opposite side of that, Indiana has a few over trends, led by the 4-1 over mark when heading into their contest a dog.
Indiana goes into this game trying to prove to the college football world that last weeks near-upset wasnt a fluke. Ohio St. is slowly creeping back into a team to be reckoned with and looks to get back into the national contender talk.
Oracles Pick: Ohio States defense is pretty good, but IU has plenty of confidence heading into this game. We recommend staying away from the spread in this contest, but both teams should put up some points. Take the over!