Bet Missouri Home Cover vs. Indiana College Football

Darin Zank

Thursday, September 18, 2014 3:48 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014 3:48 PM GMT

The Tigers lost a large part of the team that went to the SEC championship game last year, and yet they're off to a very good start this season. Can Mizzou keep it going when it hosts Indiana Saturday afternoon (4 pm ET, SECN)? More importantly, can they cover two touchdowns on the spread?

The Betting Odds
As of Thursday most college football odds were listing Missouri at -13.5 over Indiana, with a total of right around 73. The Tigers were also priced at around -500 on the CFB betting money line, with the Hoosiers getting +400 or so to win this game outright.

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Game Set-Up
Missouri opened this season with a 38-18 victory over FCS South Dakota State, missing the cover as a 25-point favorite. But the Tigers then went to Toledo and beat the Rockets 49-24, covering as a four-point favorite on the road. And last week Mizzou pulled away from Central Florida for a 38-10 victory and a cover at -10.

The Tigers only led the Knights 14-10 at the half last week, then won the second half 24-0.

Mizzou brought back just eight starters this season, four on each side of the ball, from a team that went 12-2 last year. The Tigers had to replace their starting QB, last year's leading rusher and top three receivers, and five of their top seven tacklers on defense.

But sophomore Maty Mauk has stepped in nicely for James Franklin at QB, completing 62 percent of his throws, with 12 TD passes against three interceptions, keeping several plays and drives alive with his legs.

On the other side of this match-up Indiana began this season with a 28-10 victory over FCS Indiana State, but couldn't cover as a 33-point favorite. Then last week the Hoosiers lost at Bowling Green 45-42 as eight-point road favorites. Indiana took the lead in that back-and-forth affair with two minutes remaining, but gave up the losing score with nine seconds to go.

Indiana racked up 582 yards of offense last week, 235 on the ground, but gave up 571 yards to the Falcons.

Indiana returned 17 starters from a team that went 5-7 last year. Eight starters were back on offense, including QB Nate Sudfeld, last year's leading rusher and the entire offensive line. And nine starters came back on defense, so it's hoped that unit will improve upon the 38 PPG it gave up last year.

Hoosiers RB Tevin Coleman has already rushed for 437 yards this season – that's through two games.

 

When Last They Met
These teams just met last September, a 45-28 Missouri victory and cover as three-point favorites in Bloomington. The Tigers out-gained Indiana 623-475, out-rushed the Hoosiers 280-98, won the time-of-possession battle 37/23 and picked off Sudfeld three times. No wonder they covered the spread.

That game was tied at 14 late in the second quarter, before Mizzou scored the next 24 points.

 

Hoosiers-Tigers Betting Trends
Missouri is 6-3 ATS in its last nine games against the Big Ten.

Indiana has lost seven road games in a row, going 1-6 ATS. It's also just 1-3 ATS in its last four games against the SEC.

 

Free NCAAF Pick
Some CFB followers, including your humble narrator, thought the Tigers might suffer a bit of a letdown this season, after a great 2013. But so far they've proven us wrong, with solid victories over decent opponents in Toledo and Central Florida.

For Indiana, a game like this could go a long way toward establishing some cred. A win would be huge for this program; getting blown out again might be a sign they're just treading water. 

Bottom line for this game; Missouri won two weeks ago at what's supposed to be a good MAC team by 25 points, while Indiana lost at a good MAC squad last week, allowing 45 points and almost 600 yards. So we'll go with the Tigers at  -13 offered at Pinnacle, for our free college football pick

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