This Saturday the No. 6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0) will travel to Bloomington to take on the Indiana Hoosiers (2-0) in what will be the conference opener for both teams. Kickoff is set for 12:00 EST at Memorial Stadium and will be televised nationally on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this line at Ohio State -14, but it is up to -15.5 at most books and even -16 at some places. The total here opened at 58.5 and that’s been bet up to 61.
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Ohio State vs Indiana Vegas Betting Preview & Game Line
Ohio State Buckeyes
While Ohio State was never really threatened in a 45-21 win over FAU in Week 1, it was not the dominating performance that people were expecting. While they were up 28-0 less than 10 minutes into the game, they wound up not covering as 27.5-point favorites.
Any concerns of their lackluster showing after getting that big lead on FAU were put to rest in last week’s 42-0 beatdown of Cincinnati. Buckeyes easily covered as 14.5-point favorites and wound up outgaining the Bearcats 508 to 273 and had a 31-13 edge in first downs.
Georgia transfer quarterback Justin Fields has impressed to say the least in his first 2 starts with Ohio State. Fields threw for 234 yards and 4 scores against FAU an added 61 yards and a score on the ground. He accounted for another 266 yards and 4 scores against Cincinnati.
The Hoosiers opened up 2019 with a 34-24 win at home over Ball State, but failed to cover in that contest as a 17.5-point favorite. They did cash in a winner in Week 2, destroying Eastern Illinois 52-0 as a massive 35.5-point favorite.
Those two wins improve Indiana to a perfect 8-0 under head coach Tom Allen in non-conference play. Winning inside the Big Ten has been a much tougher challenge. Hoosiers are just 4-14 in conference play under Allen. They have not had a signature Big Ten win in a while. Those 4 victories have come against Rutgers (twice), Illinois and Maryland.
All eyes early on have been on red-shirt freshman quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who beat out returning starter Peyton Ramsey. Penix Jr. threw for 326 yards and a touchdown against Ball State, but also had two interceptions. He also led the Hoosiers in rushing in that game with 67 yards on 7 carries. He would play less than a half against E. Illinois. He threw for 197 yards and 2 scores, with 12 rushing yards on just 2 attempts. He will have to be great for Indiana to have any chance here.
As I’m sure most of you guessed, Ohio State has dominated this series. The Buckeyes have won 24 straight over Indiana. Last year they won 49-26 at home as a 27-point favorite and the year before they won 49-21 at Indiana as a 20-point favorite.
NCAA Football Free ATS Betting Selection: Indiana +16
My early lean here would be to take the points with the Hoosiers. Despite the fact that Indiana has lost 24 straight to the Buckeyes, they have consistently played them tougher than expected.
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Last year they end up losing by 23 points, but it was a lot closer. Indiana had a 17-14 lead in the 2nd quarter and only trailed by 8 at the half and 9 at the end of 3 quarters.
It was a very similar type of game the last time they played in Bloomington (2017). Indiana had a 14-13 lead at the half and were up 21-20 with less than 5 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. Buckeyes then go on a 29-0 run to win and cover. Note that’s the only time Ohio State has covered in the last 8 meetings in the series.
This is the smallest the Buckeyes have been favored over Indiana since they were a 19-point favorite in 2012. Ohio State won by just 3-points in a 52-49 shootout.
I would like Indiana even more in this game if it was a little later kickoff. However, I’m still expecting a very rowdy home crowd backing the Hoosiers.
I also think there are some things here to be cautious with in Ohio State. This will be the Buckeyes first true road game of 2019. While Ohio State was 3-1 in true road games last year, but the lone loss was a 49-20 setback as a 12-point favorite at Purdue. They also only won by 1-point at Penn State and by just 1-point as a 14-point favorite at Maryland.
Another thing to note is that while FAU and Cincinnati are two well respected Group of 5 opponents, both might not be as good as we thought. The Owls got annihilated 48-14 by UCF at home in Week 2, while the Bearcats win over UCLA looked a lot less impressive after the Bruins fell 23-14 at home to San Diego State. Give me the Hoosiers +16!