Hoosiers was about a high school basketball team, but its message of underdogdom applies to an NCAA online betting sleeper like the Indiana Hoosiers – who are intent on improving on their recent successes but will have a steep first step in the Ohio State Buckeyes.
— Indiana Football (@HoosierFootball) August 3, 2017
- Date: Thursday, August 31st
- Time: 8:00 PM
- Venue: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN
Sportsbook College Football Game Odds:
Ohio State -20½ (-110) -1400
Indiana +20½ (-110) +925
Break on through to the other side
Following head coach Terry Hoeppner’s death in 2007 the unofficial motto of the Hoosiers became “play 13” – that is to say, reach a bowl game. They achieved that goal for the first time in eight years in 2015 when they made the Pinstripe Bowl, and in 2016 they played the Foster Farms Bowl. But Indianensis Universitatis is not about to rest on their laurels. “You want to be 12-0 and in the College Football Playoffs, not just win a bowl game,” cornerback Rashard Fant said. Which is just as well because they have not won a bowl game since 1991. Moreover, the Hoosiers have not posted a winning record since their 7-6 season in 2007. They finished 6-7 last season.
First year head coach Tom Allen’s to-do list includes a record-matching third straight bowl bid, winning the Old Oaken Bucket and the Old Brass Spittoon in consecutive seasons for the first time, and winning the Big Ten championship. That’s actually safety Chase Dutra’s goal (“You don’t come to a Big Ten school and not want to win a Big Ten championship”) but one would have to believe Coach Allen is all for it too. Generally speaking, “You want to win every game,” as Fant put it.
Buckeyes gone buckwild
There is a pretty good NCAA online betting chance that OSU will take out their 0-31 2016 Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson on Indiana. The Buckeyes under Urban Meyer are the embodiment of Friedrich Nietzsche’s “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Prior to that College Football Playoff semifinal loss to Clemson Coach Meyer had only lost two bowl games, and each time he has bounced back with a National Champion.
In 2007 the Florida Gators lost the Capital One Bowl to Michigan; the next year the Meyer-led Gators went 13-1 and won their second national championship in three years. In 2013 Ohio State lost the Orange Bowl to Clemson; the Buckeyes won their first-ever College Football Playoff and Meyer won his first national title at OSU. Being shut out by Clemson was a clear indicative that the Buckeyes needed to improve on offense as well as defense. Not coincidentally, Ohio State has brand new offensive and defensive coordinators – noteworthily, that includes former Hoosiers OC Kevin Wilson.
And that is just one of the reasons that former Buckeyes quarterback and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit finds this NCAA online betting game “intriguing.” “I think it’s exciting to have this big a game, to see a conference game on the road for Ohio State,” he said. “It’s very different from seeing a San Diego State or a Hawaii or a MAC team – just the traditional home opener. This is different. Anytime you go on the road, it’s tough.”