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Outback Bowl Preview: Ole Miss Rebels vs Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana (6-1 SU, 7-0 ATS) looks to finish a special season with its first bowl game victory in nearly three decades. The Hoosiers opened as 6.5-point favorites over Ole Miss (4-5, 4-5), which has won 11 of its last 13 bowl game appearances.

Outback Bowl: Ole Miss vs Indiana
  • Date/Time: January 2, 4 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
  • TV Coverage: ABC
  • Opening Odds: Indiana -6.5 | O/U 69.5 (Line History)
  • Ole Miss vs Indiana Matchup Report

Outback Bowl Odds Analysis

Action on Indiana prompted bookmakers to move the spread across the key number of 7, with some shops even listing the Hoosiers -8.5 at the time of writing. The total also saw some major early movement, plummeting to 65.5.

Ole Miss News & Notes

When Matt Corral has been at his best this year, he’s been one of the most productive quarterbacks in the SEC, finishing the campaign with nearly 3,000 passing yards and 27 touchdowns while adding 469 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. With Corral at the helm, Ole Miss put up 48 points or more on four occasions this season, including an early October game against Alabama.

At his worst, however, Corral has been a turnover machine. The sophomore threw five interceptions in the first half of the Rebels’ most recent game against LSU and also committed a critical fumble in the 53-48 loss. Eleven of Corral’s 14 interceptions this season came in two games.

The loss to LSU was the Rebels’ first game without wide receiver Elijah Moore and tight end Kenny Yeboah, both of whom have opted out for the remainder of the season. Their absence seemed to hurt the Ole Miss passing game, which managed just 251 yards through the air after averaging more than 400 in its previous three games.

The Rebels could also be without running back Jerrion Ealy and receiver Braylon Sanders in the Outback Bowl due to injuries suffered against the Tigers, and several other players might opt out before game time.

Indiana News & Notes

Jack Tuttle is expected to make his second career start at quarterback in place of star Michael Penix Jr., who tore his ACL in Indiana’s second-last game of the season. Tuttle threw for just 130 yards and the Hoosiers posted a season-low 14 points in his first start against Wisconsin.

It remains to be seen if Tuttle can put up bigger numbers against a much softer Rebels defense, which finished the campaign ranked 127th in both total yards and passing yards allowed per game.

Indiana’s defense has thrived on turnovers all year, ranking second in the nation in that department with 2.9 per game. The Hoosiers have also stiffened in the shadow of their own goalposts, leading the country in red-zone scoring percentage allowed at 52.63 percent. Indiana has allowed just 17 points in its last two games and held three of its last four opponents to 11 points or less.

The Hoosiers haven’t played since December 5 because their season finale vs Purdue was canceled due to COVID-19 breakouts in both programs. Head coach Tom Allen has told reporters that at least 28 players and coaches on the team had contracted the virus at some point this year, but he expects everybody to be healthy and available for the Outback Bowl.

Betting Pick: Indiana -7.5

The Hoosiers might be the most undervalued team in college football, going a perfect 7-0 ATS this year and covering 14 of their last 17 overall. I’ll happily back Indiana to cover another spread against a short-handed opponent.

Shark Bites
  • Ole Miss is 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 neutral-site games.
  • Indiana is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 games overall.
  • The UNDER is 6-0 in Indiana’s last 6 non-conference games.