Two teams in desperate need for a win this Saturday face off in week five of the college football season as the Indiana Hoosiers travel to Nebraska to face off the Cornhuskers. As non conference play is over, both are now in a need for this win to still compete to get to six wins and a bowl game appearance. Indiana started to a surprise 3-0 beginning but ended with their non conference play with a difficult loss to Cincinnati last week. Many were not expecting much from the Hoosiers this year but now they only find themselves three wins away from a bowl appearance so a win against a struggling Nebraska team would certainly help them get there. Nebraska has had a much more difficult start as they enter this game with an abysmal 1-3 record. They have already fired head coach Scott Frost and now interim head coach Mickey Joseph is in charge of turning this team around to somehow keep them competitive moving forward this year. Let’s break into this game’s matchup picks and predictions.
Indiana vs. Nebraska Betting Odds
Despite the 1-3 start, Nebraska is getting the advantage from betting odds with the home field advantage. Nebraska is currently moneyline favorites at -210 and a spread line of -5.5 points. Playing at Nebraska is most likely a big reasoning for the advantage as well as Mickey Joseph needing a big win for his program. They have the talent they just need to play like it. Indiana was able to get a big win against Illinois so don’t count them out. Connor Bazelak needs to limit turnovers to keep Indiana in this ball game and feed the running game more often. He threw over 60 times in their 45-24 loss to Cincinnati. RBs Shaun Shivers and Josh Henderson need to get more involved. Nebraska’s defense has struggled so far this year letting up 30 or more points in each contest so far, so they will need to work on slowing down Bazelak and the Indiana offense.
The over/under line is currently placed at 60 points and is very well possible as both of their defenses haven’t been great at stopping scoring. Indiana has struggled to slow teams down in the 1st half and let Cincinnati get over 40. Both offenses have shown ability to score when needed so the higher over/under line makes sense.
Indiana vs. Nebraska Picks & Predictions
My pick: Nebraska -5.5 ( -112)
I expect this to be a close game but I think Nebraska comes out with a chip on their shoulder at home to get their second win of the season and their first in Big Ten play. Both of these teams need this win but Nebraska needs this more to show their fanbase this team is not completely dead. Indiana has gotten off to a solid start and stole one from a talented Illinois team, I don’t know if they are able to clean up some turnover mistakes on the road they showed last week which comes down to just decision making errors. If this game was in Bloomington, IN, I think this would be a different outcome but I think Husker nation comes out strong and Casey Thompson plays a cool, collective game to get Nebraska back to playing like they expected to play prior to the season.
The over/under line at 60 is an interesting one because I think this could definitely be a high scoring game but 60 is pretty high. I may steer away from this one but I may steer towards the under as I could see this being around a 27-20 final score.
Indiana vs Nebraska Key Matchups
What will Casey Thompson be able to do against this Nebraska defense?
Casey Thompson vs. Indiana Defense
If Nebraska wants to win this one they need a big game out of Casey Thompson. He transferred to Nebraska from Texas this season since he was losing his starting job and now he needs to prove why he should be a strong starting one QB for a historic program. He has 5 TDs and 3 INTs through his first four games so needs to come out stronger. He has good receivers in Trey Palmer and Marcus Washington that he needs to get connected with early against a Hoosier defense that has struggled off the gate early in games.
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