The Indiana Hoosiers will have a second chance at pulling an NCAA football betting upset this season, but they will first have to snap a nine-game road skid against the Penn State Nittany Lions and get their first win ever at Beaver Stadium (though they have covered in five of those visits). The Hoosiers dominated most of the first half of their season opener against then-No. 2 Ohio State and led 21-20 late in the third quarter, but ran out of steam and got creamed in the fourth.
- Date: September 30
- Time: 3:35 PM
- Venue: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
- Online Sportsbook College Football Wagering Odds:
Indiana +17 (-110) 61 (-110) +575
Penn State -17 (-110) 61 (-110) -850
The Indiana Dichotomy
On the one hand, head coach Tom Allen believes the Hoosiers are a better team than that which faced the Buckeyes. On the other hand, “we did have quite a few injuries from the (Georgia Southern) game, and part of the process is getting guys healthy,” Allen said at his weekly Monday news conference. More worrisome is the fact that Indiana lost starters A’Shon Riggins, Marcelino Ball, and Nate Hof; all defensive players who are questionable for Saturday. One wants, when going up against Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley and the rest of the 500-yard per game Lions offense, to have all possible defensive pieces in place. “There’s not a quarterback/tailback combination in the country right now that’s playing at a higher level,” Allen said of McSorley/Barkley. An undermanned Hoosiers defense will have an even harder time staying within the spread, though Indiana is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a double-digit underdog, which will be the case on Saturday. PSU is, meanwhile, 13-1 SU and 11-1-2 ATS in their last 14 overall games, as well as 4-2 against the NCAA football betting spread in their last six times hosting the Hoosiers.
Penn State almost fell for the trap
The Lions know a thing or two about avoiding an upset. The hype about the Iowa game being a trap game almost became a reality, had it not been for McSorley hitting wide receiver Juwan Johnson with a seven-yard TD pass for a last second, 21-19 win over the Hawkeyes.
Down to its final play, No. 4 Penn State hauls in a last-second touchdown to avoid an upset at Iowa. pic.twitter.com/TC0WINRXnS
— ESPN (@espn) September 24, 2017
Prior to those game-winning heroics, Barkley rushed for 211 yards and a touchdown and caught12 passes for 94 yards. What matters to us, of course, is that the Lions failed to cover the spread for the first time in 13 games. Additionally, the total went, as it has been the norm rather than exception for PSU this season, under. It was, conversely, a rarity for the Lions in conference play, as the total has gone over in 10 of Penn State’s last 14 games against Big Ten opponents. Last season, against the Hoosiers, the Lions covered the spread, though it was only seven points compared to 17 on Saturday (PSU won by 14). The total went over, and, once again, Indiana may not have the manpower to keep the NCAA football betting total from going over once again.