One team will have its hopes of going to a bowl game crushed when the Rutgers Scarlet Knights visit the Indiana Hoosiers. Game time is noon EST on Saturday, November 18 at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. Fans can watch the game on the Big Ten Network.
Oddsmakers view the Hoosiers as 11-point favorites at home. The over/under is set at 50 points. Click here to see a full list of Week 12 betting odds and links to game previews.
Rutgers vs Indiana Vegas Odds & Game Preview
The Hoosiers snapped a four-game losing streak last week by beating Illinois. It was Indiana’s first Big Ten win of the season and it kept them alive for a bowl spot at 4-6. Indiana’s record, of course, isn’t impressive. But five of their six losses came against teams ranked in the top-25 at the time, including three ranked in the top-10. The Hoosiers also beat a good Virginia team early in the season, so they may be a little better than most 4-6 teams.
Rutgers, meanwhile, has been one of the more surprising teams in the Big Ten this year. They are 3-4 in the conference but just 4-6 overall. Those four wins have doubled last year’s win total, showing some progress in Chris Ash’s second year as head coach. Of course, another win or two, and possibly a bowl game, would make the Scarlet Knights feel better about the state of the program heading into next season.
Vegas Free NCAAF Betting Pick: Rutgers +11
I like Indiana to win this game, but the spread is too much for my liking. If the Hoosier could only beat Illinois by 10 points last week, especially considering how lopsided the total yards and turnover margin were, I don’t see them doing much better against Rutgers. I’ll take my chances with the Scarlet Knights and 11 points.
The Rutgers defense hasn’t received nearly enough credit this season. This is the unit that makes me think that an 11-point spread is way too much to cover in this game. The Scarlet Knights are giving up 26 points per game this year, which is a good number when you consider they’ve played four teams currently in the top-25.
Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.
The only team to have its way against Rutgers has been Ohio State. Even holding both Michigan and Penn State to 35 points is a decent showing by the Rutgers defense. Last week, the Scarlett Knights limited Penn State to just over 300 total yards and less than 100 on the ground. Despite scoring two touchdowns, Saquon Barkley averaged just 2.5 yards per carry.
I expect the Rutgers defense to have a good game against a rather mediocre Indiana offense. The Hoosiers have a below-average running game, while quarterback Richard Lagow is nothing special. Lagow had his best game of the season last week against Illinois. But he’s put up modest numbers at best against most other Big Ten teams. I expect more of the same against a quality Rutgers defense.
The caveat to this game is that the Rutgers offense is even less impressive than the Indiana offense. The Scarlet Knights have one of the Big Ten’s more underrated running backs in Gus Edwards. But quarterback Giovanni Rescigno is not a proficient passer. He can help run the ball, but Rutgers is not a threat throwing the ball, which makes them extremely limited offensively.
Despite the problems of the Rutgers offense, the Scarlet Knights are good enough on defense to stay in this game. A decent running game and solid defense will be enough to prevent Indiana from pulling away and covering the spread. This figures to be an ugly, low-scoring affair, which is why Rutgers keeps the final score within 11 points, even in a loss.