NCAAF Betting Preview: Indiana vs. Ohio State

Darin Zank

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 6:41 PM GMT

The Indiana Hoosiers have to face the Ohio State Buckeyes in week 13 of the college football season. Our handicapper show us the most profitable NCAAF odds for our sports picks.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are in the same boat as the Florida State Seminoles, the Baylor Bears and maybe a couple other teams.

If they want to play in the upcoming BCS national championship game, they can't just win the rest of their games; they have to win convincingly, impressively.

Ohio State scored 60 points in beating Illinois last week; for its effort the Buckeyes dropped a spot in the AP poll.

That can't bode well for an Indiana team coming into Columbus Saturday to play OSU at the Horseshoe (3:30 pm ET, ESPN2).

You might think the Buckeyes would be favored by a big number over the Hoosiers; by gosh, you're right. But is that number big enough? Or too much?

Check out SBRs NCAAF Week 13 Betting Odds Report

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Hoosiers-Buckeyes Betting Odds

Most books opened the college football odds for this game with Ohio State favored by right around 32 points, with a total of 81. As of Wednesday morning most shops had bumped the Buckeyes to right around -34.

Hoosiers-Buckeyes Game Set-Up

OSU came into this season hungry, after going 12-0 last year but sitting out the postseason because of a ban. Heading into this weekend the Buckeyes are 10-0 SU, 6-0 in conference play, and riding a 22-game winning streak. Ohio State needs one more victory to clinch a spot in the Big Ten championship game, the first step toward a potential BCS title game bid.

The Buckeyes toughest contests have come against Wisconsin, Northwestern and Iowa. But over the last three weeks Ohio State has beaten Penn State, Purdue and Illinois by a combined score of 179-49.

On the doggy side of this match-up Indiana had hopes of returning to a bowl this season, with 18 returning starters on a team that looked like it might be on the rise. But with two games to go the Hoosiers are 4-6 SU, 2-4 in conference play and need to win their last two games to become bowl-eligible. They started 3-2, but have lost four of their last five games.

Last week Indiana went up to Madison and got beat up by the Badgers 51-3.

Hoosiers-Buckeyes Recent History

Ohio State is 19-0-1 in its last 20 games against Indiana. The last time the Hoosiers beat the Buckeyes was in 1988.

Last year the Buckeyes beat the Hoosiers 52-49, but couldn't cover as 19-point favorites. OSU grabbed two-score leads all day, but never quite put Indiana away. The Hoosiers actually led at one point 14-10, and only trailed by a touchdown late into the third quarter. The Buckeyes eventually built a 52-34 lead, but then allowed Indiana to score the last 15 points. In the end Ohio State had to cover an onside kick to preserve the victory.

Actually, the Hoosiers have covered the spread the last two seasons against the Buckeyes; two years ago they lost 34-20 in Columbus but covered as 27-point dogs.  

Hoosiers-Buckeyes Betting Trends

Ohio State is 6-3-1 ATS this season, 3-2 ATS when favored by four touchdowns or more.

Indiana is 4-6 ATS this season, 0-3 ATS when dogged by more than a touchdown.

The Buckeyes are 7-3 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as their games have averaged 68 total points.

The Hoosiers are 8-2 on the totals this year, as their games have averaged 78 points.

Our Take on Saturday's Game

This one isn't too hard to figure out. Ohio State is favored by 35 points; Indiana just lost by 48 points to Wisconsin; the Buckeyes beat the Badgers earlier this year, rather convincingly; they led that game 31-14 before allowing Wisconsin to score the last 10 points.

Ohio State needs to win this game by a lot if it wants to keep pace, or make up ground, in the BCS standings. So while this line might be a bit inflated, because of the “style points” factor and because of where this game is being played, we'll give the points and go with the Buckeyes for our free NCAAF pick for Saturday.

College Football Pick: Take Ohio State at the -34 points offered at several books, including SBR Sportsbook and Bet365.