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Ohio State continues to rack up the points on less than average Big Ten teams, scoring at least 56 points in three straight games. That streak will likely move to four games after a meeting with Indiana. The Hoosiers have one of the worst defenses in the conference, allowing almost 40 points per game. The Buckeyes are -34 point favorites at betonline with much of the public on them. (85% at sportsbook.com according to their betting trends)
Indiana is coming off a miserable 51-3 loss at Wisconsin where they couldn't do anything on either end of the ball. In three road games this year, the Hoosiers have yet to get a win. In addition to Wisconsin, they allowed a combined 105 points at the two Michigan schools. It's almost a given that OSU is going to score at least 50 in this game.
The spread isn't higher because Ohio State's defense hasn't exactly been lock down this season, allowing 35 points to Illinois last week. Against teams that can move the ball decently, they haven't been great. Indiana is one of those teams, scoring just under 40 points per game.
The Hoosiers couldn't do anything last week on offense and will look to turn that around here. In four conference losses, quarterback Nate Sudfeld only has three TDs and two interceptions. He has 19 touchdowns on the year. He'll need to get something going with leading receiver Cody Latimer (926 yards, eight TDs) because they aren't going to get by OSU with just their running game. Leading running back Tevin Coleman was out against Wisconsin last week with an ankle injury and if he can't play in this game, there could be a similar score. While Stephen Houston isn't bad, he finished with 61 yards on 15 carries against the Badgers.
The Ohio State defense was carved up by Indiana last year in a 52-49 road win. Houston rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns in that game, in addition to the Hoosiers throwing for 352 yards through the air. It's unlikely Indiana will match last year's score with how they've been playing lately.
There's nothing stopping Braxton Miller from destroying this defense. Even though Miller completed just 13-of-29 passes last week against Illinois, he rushed for 184 yards and a 70-yard TD, which hid his problems throwing the ball. In addition, running back Carlos Hyde is running in a fury as of late, hitting 100 yards in five straight games. After not starting last weekend's game, Hyde still finished with 246 yards and four touchdowns, a career day. Philly Brown and Devin Smith aren't easy to cover in the passing game either, and will likely prove to be more trouble.
Just like last year's game, Ohio State shouldn't have any problems scoring. They rushed for 357 yards as a team in that contest and could pass that number this time around.
The Hoosiers have not covered in five straight road games and are 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Buckeyes are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record and 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall. In this meeting, the favorite has covered in six of the last eight matchups, which means the Buckeyes are 6-2 ATS.
Our score prediction model has Ohio State winning easily but possibly not covering, 60-32. This is the type of game we'd typical stay away from as the back door cover is always on the table with a game like this. We suspect Ohio State and Urban Meyer will try to run the score up here if possible as an attempt to impress the pollsters so we'll lean towards Ohio State and laying the big number. Ohio State -34
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