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Undefeated Spartans Early Favorites In Trip To Indiana

The Michigan State Spartans (6-0 SU, 4-1-1 ATS) proved last week they are for real, handling a feisty Rutgers team and covering the spread again. The Spartans have been very profitable for bettors while the Indiana Hoosiers (2-3, 1-4) has been completely the opposite. At first glance, this game has all the makings of a blowout, which makes the Michigan State -3.5 line incredibly favorable.

Michigan State Spartans vs Indiana Hoosiers
  • Date/Time: October 16, 12 noon ET
  • Stadium: Memorial Stadium
  • TV Coverage: FS1
  • Opening Odds: Michigan State -3.5 | O/U 51.5 (Line History)
  • Michigan State vs Indiana Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

After the first few weeks, it was fair to question whether the Spartans were legitimate, but with yet another impressive win on their resume, it is time to take them seriously. Michigan State has covered the spread in four of six games this season and scored at will when it was necessary. Giving just 3.5 points feels extremely light. Indiana has yet to prove to be anything remotely close to last year’s success story, and to bank on that team showing up would be an odd move at this stage.

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Michigan State News & Notes

After finishing last year with a dismal 2-5 record, Mel Tucker has flipped the script, leading the Spartans to a 6-0 mark. The offense has been the talk of the team with Michigan State scoring over 30 points in five of six games.

Leading the charge is Kenneth Walker III, who now tops the entire FBS with 912 rushing yards, 121 more than the next-closest player. “Everyone knows how good a player Ken is,” said quarterback Payton Thorne, remarking about the offense’s great versatility and Walker’s central role.

The Spartans clearly have the hot hand and have made bettors very happy. They currently are tied with a number of teams with just one loss against the spread this season, showing they can evolve and even Vegas cannot quite figure them out yet.

Indiana News & Notes

After a season that had ended with so much promise, the Hoosiers had high hopes coming into this year to build off last year’s impressive record. Unfortunately, that has not come to fruition with Indiana stumbling back to mediocrity.

The Hoosiers have the second-worst win percentage in the Big Ten and are struggling mightily on offense. The biggest problem seems to lie under center as quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has had turnover issues in his comeback from surgery last year.

Penix has seven interceptions in five games, after throwing just eight in his previous two seasons across 12 total games. If the Hoosiers are to pull off the upset, they need that Penix to return and become the passer this team requires.

One thing to note: Penix is currently considered week to week with a shoulder injury suffered in Week 5, but with a good week there is a solid chance he will play in what is a very important game for the Hoosiers.

How Michigan State Will Cover

This one is as easy as it sounds. Michigan State needs to run the ball effectively. If the Spartans do that, they will shorten the game, open up play-action and create more windows in the passing game. If they do that, Kenneth Walker should be able to take care of the rest.

How Indiana Will Cover

If Penix does not play due to injury, that would make the Hoosiers’ job much more difficult. First they have to stop the Michigan State run game and Kenneth Walker III. They also have to control the ball and run offense with tempo. If they can control the ball and make Michigan State convert more third-and-longs, they will be in good shape.

Computer Pick: Indiana +3.5

For more college football predictions, visit our NCAAF Computer Picks page.

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Shark Bites
  • MSU is 12-5 ATS in its last 17 games vs Indiana.
  • Indiana is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 home games.
  • The OVER is 6-3 in MSU’s last 9 games.