As we saw last week, no one is safe from an unsuspecting upset in the Big Ten. Michigan will have to be on upset watch in its next two road Games. The first come comes against Indiana, who had Iowa on the ropes last weekend. The Wolverines are still a heavy -13 point favorite as seen at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
Michigan looks to have a clean route before facing Ohio State in its season finale, but these next two road Games will be far from easy. As seen in the Wolverines road win at Minnesota a couple weeks ago (and Michigan State’s recent loss at Nebraska), anything can happen when you play away from home.
Indiana may not look like much with a 0-5 record in Conference play, but the Hoosiers have competed in every home Game this year. That includes last week’s 35-27 loss to Iowa and a 34-27 loss to Ohio State a month ago. The Hoosiers keep battling for that first Big Ten win and Michigan can’t look ahead here.
Surprisingly in that Iowa Game, Indiana had success running the ball. Jordan Howard totaled 174 rushing yards and two touchdowns against one of the best run defenses in the nation. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld struggled most of the way, which makes it even more surprising that the Game was close. If IU can do that again against a similarly tough defense in Michigan, they could easily cover, something that hasn’t happened in its last Four Games. But still, Sudfeld is the x-factor in this Game. If he can have just a little bit of success, the Hoosiers will have a decent shot of covering.
Michigan’s defense had a run of shutouts, but has looked vulnerable in recent weeks, mainly giving up 26 points on the road to a weak Minnesota team. Indiana can have a high-powered offense at times and it wouldn’t be all that surprising if they kept tight in this Game.
However, the Wolverines continue to roll over bad defenses and teams with losing records. Even on a day when they had trouble running the ball, Jake Rudock easily had his best Game of the year against Rutgers last week throwing for 337 yards, two touchdowns, and most importantly no interceptions. Rudock could easily have the same kind of success against a Hoosiers defense that doesn’t present much. The same goes for running back De’Veon Smith who will be looking to get back on track.
If Indiana can keep the Michigan offense below 40 points, they’ll have a decent shot of covering. Sudfeld should have a better outing than last time out and if the Hoosiers can move the ball with Howard on the ground again, that would be enough to stay competitive.
But even when Michigan was bad last year, they won this Game 34-10. The difference is that Sudfeld is healthy for Indiana, and that could make all the difference.
The Wolverines are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between these schools, while the Hoosiers continue to struggle having not covered in Four straight. The over has hit Four consecutive times for the Wolverines, as well.
Our Pick – As mentioned above, Michigan has owned this series even when they field bad teams. That’s simply the difference in talent that each is able to recruit and that will always exist between these schools.
This year, Michigan is on the upswing big time while Indiana is, well, Indiana is Indiana. That spells trouble for the Hoosiers.
Michigans most recent Game is a good example of the difference between these two programs. Michigan beat Rutgers 49-16 while Indiana lost at home to Rutgers 55-52.
The Michigan defense will be the difference here as they should win this Game going away. Michigan -13