Michigan Vs. Indiana Betting Odds & Predictions (10/8/22)

Once seen as a trendy program on the rise, Indiana has lost all of that swagger, along with quarterback Michael Penix Jr., and have struggled immensely in losses and wins alike en route to an ugly 3-2 start. This week, they’ll host the defending Big Ten Champions, the Michigan Wolverines, who are once again 5-0 and ranked inside the top four. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks for what could very well be a long Saturday for Hoosier nation.

Michigan Vs. Indiana Odds

Michigan are currently enormous favorites, with the spread set at just over a staggering 3-touchdown margin, ranging from 21-22 points. Meanwhile the scoring total for the two teams is set at a less outlandish 59, which is a fair amount of points for a Big Ten game.

Michigan Vs. Indiana Prediction

Indiana are positively limping into this matchup, following a drubbing at the hands of Cincinnati, and a not-close loss to Nebraska who had lost to their previous last 9 FBS opponents, and then fired their coach. According to PFF, the only thing the Hoosiers do at a top-50 in FBS level is defend against the run, a task at which they have been the nation’s 45th-best unit. In fact, when you whittle the field down to just Power 5 teams (of which there are only 65 total), Indiana is still only in 49th place for rushing offense, 47th-best at special teams, an outside of the top 50 at literally everything else other than that relatively-solid rush defense. The passing game is also nothing to write home about; Ty Fryfogle is gone, and QB Connor Bazelak has really struggled, averaging under 6 yards per attempt and exactly a pick per game.

They’ll be going up against a Michigan team seen as the third-best team in the country by PFF’s estimation, and the second-best if you consult EPA, as well as of course the fourth as decided by the AP pollsters. The Wolverines are led by a sudden Heisman Contender in running back Blake Corum, who has raced out to a fast start with 611 yards and 10 touchdowns all on the ground in 5 games. The Wolverines have also enjoyed uncharacteristically good QB play from first-year starter JJ McCarthy, who leads the nation in completion percentage despite a very respectable average depth of target of over 10 yards. McCarthy has played relatively low volume, but efficient football, as he has yet to be picked off. Michigan’s defense has been great, top-5 in the country from just about any angle- except for pass rush, where there has been a small but noticeable drop off after the loss of superstar edge duo Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo.

Simply put, Michigan is one of the best teams in the nation, and Indiana is not. 21.5 points on the road is a ton to lay, but in college football, sometimes it makes sense; this is one of those times. The Hoosiers have had absolutely no answers for far lesser teams, and will provide little to no resistance for Michigan. The point total is a little tougher- I’m not sure Indiana has the wherewithal to put together any sort of offense, but I do know the Wolverines are capable of hanging 50 points or more all by themselves, so I’d go with the over, but again this is a line I’d be very cautious with.

Michigan Vs. Indiana Key Matchups

Will Michigan be able to run on this Indiana front? How does this Indiana recieving corps stack up against this Michigan secondary? Check out the key matchups for Michigan vs Indiana below.

Michigan Run Game vs. Indiana Front Seven

As I mentioned earlier, Michigan has a Heisman-hopeful running back, and Indiana’s only remotely playable unit is their rushing defense. That makes for one of the few interesting angles from which to assess this game, as limiting Corum and forcing Michigan to win with a genuine pass-first approach for the first time all year would be a route for the Hoosiers to make this one at least a real game. Corum has been great, but PFF sees Michigan as just the 25th-best run blocking line in the nation- solid to be sure, but a far cry from the dominance we saw from that unit a year ago, perhaps due partly to the loss of a pair of last year’s starters, Andrew Steuber and Andrew Vastardis.

The Indiana run defense that will look to get after that Michigan o-line is headlined by standout linebacker Cam Jones, who leads the team with 30 tackles, 3 of which were for loss. He also has by far the team’s best PFF run defense grade, as he checks in just under 90. He’s joined by edge rusher Alfred Bryant and fellow linebacker Aaron Casey, both of whom have been solid, if less spectacular than Jones, in run defense. There isn’t too much depth, but the Hoosier front seven has enough top-end talent to make life at least a little harder than usual for Corum and co.

Michigan Secondary vs. Indiana Receivers

Michigan’s secondary has been lights-out this season, despite the loss of star safety Daxton Hill, as well as a handful of other DB contributors. Michigan’s safety duo of Makari Paige and R.J. Moten has been outstanding, together breaking up three passes, and intercepting one more. They’ve been playing behind a strong pair of starting corners, DJ Turner and Gemon Green, as well as true freshman and former mega-recruit Will Johnson, who is also already making his presence felt.

They’ll be tasked with shutting down what has been a relatively unproductive Indiana receiving group, but one that has shown sparks of potential. Former FSU transfer D.J. Matthews Jr. has found his way into the end zone twice, earning the team’s lone PFF receiving grade over 70. The team’s runaway yardage leader, however, is Cam Camper, who has racked up over 400 yards in just 4 performances, while averaging almost 13 yards per catch. If the Hoosiers are going to score points in this game, it’s likely not going to be against Michigan’s positively stifling run defense- it’s going to be through the air, and it’s on these receivers to create some separation for Bazelak to hit them.

From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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