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Prediction Machine NCAAF Free Pick: Indiana Hoosiers vs Ohio State Buckeyes

Indiana Hoosiers vs Ohio State Buckeyes (OSU -20.5, O/U 66.5)

Tom Allen and the Hoosiers head to the Horseshoe on Saturday to face Ohio State in what’s shaping up as the Big Ten game of the year.

Indiana enters with a 4-0 record after last week’s 24-0 shutout of Michigan State, while Ohio State is coming off multiple weeks of rest thanks to last weekend’s canceled matchup with Maryland. The Buckeyes are 3-0 entering Saturday’s matchup with ninth-ranked Indiana and have no other ranked teams remaining on their schedule, so this matchup will likely determine who wins the Big Ten East.

Ryan Day’s squad is listed as a 20.5-point favorite over the visiting Hoosiers. The Buckeyes easily disposed of the Hoosiers in last year’s meeting, walloping Indiana 51-10 at its home field in Bloomington. Our model is projecting Ohio State will be victorious once again this season, but by a much narrower margin.

Our NCAAF model is projecting a final score of 40.0-22.6 in favor of the Buckeyes. With a projected margin of victory of 17.4 points and a spread above 20, we have a solid edge on Indiana against the spread in this one. Our model suggests a $128 wager on INDIANA +20.5 for an average $100 bettor.

Prediction Machine’s NCAAF picks are 137-138 ATS (49.8%) and 163-106 on O/Us (60.6%) in 2020, profiting +23.63 units, or $2,363 for an average $100 bettor. Head over to predictionmachine.com to sign up for a free trial and get access to every NCAAF projection.

Why will Indiana cover the spread?

  • In order to keep this game close, Indiana will need to slow down Justin Fields and limit his efficiency. So far this season, Fields’ production has been otherworldly. His 86.7 percent completion rate is 10 points higher than the next closest quarterback, his 10.9 yards per attempt leads the Big Ten and is third-best in the country, and he’s thrown 11 touchdowns to zero interceptions. He’s the only QB (out of 51 qualified) who hasn’t thrown an interception while having thrown at least nine touchdowns. Indiana ranks 21st overall with 6.4 yards allowed per pass attempt, and the Hoosiers have intercepted opposing QBs a Big Ten-high 10 times through four games. They also lead the Big Ten with 12 sacks, so they have a good chance to disrupt Fields’ timing and force him into negative plays.
  • Indiana’s red-zone defense has been elite this season. The Hoosiers have allowed opponents to score on just 44.4 percent of their red-zone trips, which is the lowest rate in the country. If they can force Ohio State into field goals or, better yet, turnovers in the red zone instead of touchdowns, they’ll have a great chance to cover the spread.
  • The Buckeyes defense hasn’t been as elite as we’ve seen in years past. They’ve allowed 5.3 yards per play (43rd) and have allowed opponents to post 23.0 points per game (Indiana has allowed 19.2 ppg). While the Hoosiers haven’t been a world-beater on offense, they should be able to put up enough points thanks to their passing game to keep this game within reach.

Hoosiers vs Buckeyes: How to bet the total

This Big Ten matchup currently features an OVER/UNDER of 66.5 points. Prediction Machine’s projected score totals 66.2 points (40.0-26.2), giving us no edge on the current total in this matchup.