Ohio State at Indiana Big 10 Football Free Pick – 9/14/19

ohio state favored by 15.5 over hoosiers
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Ohio State travels to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers in a game where the Buckeyes opened as -13.5 point favorites at betonline and are now -15.5 as of Tuesday. The current posted total is 61.

Bettors doubted Ohio State last week and that ended up not being a good idea. The Buckeyes opened as high as 17-point favorites at some places against Cincinnati and then dropped to as low as 14.5.

Ohio State is as big of a favorite as last weekend, but this is also the first true road game for Ryan Day and company. That only adds to the recent results between these teams as Indiana has covered seven of the last eight meetings.

However, this is also the lowest spread between them in more than a decade, so it’s clear oddsmakers don’t trust Day just yet. 

Buckeyes Offense Yet to Be Challenged

Other than that, there isn’t really a good reason to bet against Ohio State. For starters, its offense has yet to be challenged and it wouldn’t be surprising if Day was keeping some plays hidden for Big Ten opponents.

Field may be a new quarterback for the Bucks, but he has a big arm and is mobile. He’s completing 9.2 yards per attempt to go with 4.9 yards per carry and that’s not something IU’s defense will be able to handle, especially against speedy wideouts Binjimen Victor and K.J. Hill. Then there’s still J.K. Dobbins, who has 232 yards and three touchdowns on 6.1 yards per carry.

The Hoosiers actually played good run defense in this matchup last year, but they also gave up 455 passing yards and six passing touchdowns. Now going against a mobile quarterback, stopping the run will be a little harder this year.

Historical Scoring Average OSU 39 IND 13

While Indiana is undefeated, it’s stepping up a weight class in this matchup and there’s no reason to believe in the defense, which has allowed 49 points each of the past two meetings.

Indiana’s path to covering has been through its offense because that’s the one thing it can do against mediocre defenses. The Hoosiers also have a dual-threat quarterback in Michael Penix, who has already shown some flashes with 8.7 yards per attempt and 79 rushing yards on eight carries.

Of course, the step up in competition can’t be ignored, nor can running back Stevie Scott’s 3.5 yards per carry. Even though the offense has had success, Scott has struggled to find running lanes, most notably against Ball State (19 carries, 48 yards). 

A good comparison for this game is OSU’s opener against FAU in which it won 45-21, but allowed a couple late touchdowns despite its defense controlling the first three quarters. Even if Indiana can’t run the ball, the explosiveness of Penix could result in a few touchdowns, especially at home.

Not to mention, IU has scored at least 17 points in each of the last five meetings and at least 26 in three of those. 

The Buckeyes have covered in their last five against a team with a winning record and the over is 5-0 in Indiana’s last five at home against a team with a winning record. In this meeting, the road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six.

In the real world of sportsbetting, laying -15.5 points on a game that we could have had -13.5, isn’t something we would do. However, our numbers have the Buckeyes winning this one by anywhere from 16 to 22 points. So, perhaps a small amount of valie still remains with Ohio State.

Ohio State -15.5

Read our Ohio State and Indiana season previews