Over/Under 5 Wins () vs Indiana Hoosiers ()Date : 09/01/2018
Time : First Game: Indiana Hoosiers @ FIU Panthers 7:00 PM
Location : Memorial Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over/Under 5 Wins vs Indiana Hoosiers
The Indiana Hoosiers fell short of a bowl game in their first season under Tom Allen as they went 5-7 but they were dealt a little bit of bad luck as they lost 4 games in Big Ten play by 8 points or less. Not only did Indiana lose those games by a close margin but they also experienced injuries on both sides of the ball something that Tom Allen is hoping his team can overcome this season. The defense was the heart of this football team this year as they ranked in the top half of the Big Ten in yards allowed but they will go through a lot of changes this season as they will have to replace 8 starters on that side of the ball. Offensively Allen will need more out of his unit as they only averaged 23.2 PPG in conference games but they will have to do so with a new signal caller given the graduation of their 2-year starter. Indiana was very successful in landing some big names in the graduate transfer market as they filled some holes but they lacked the necessary tools to land some of the highly touted high school recruits. Tom Allen may still be establishing his culture at Indiana but it has to start on the recruiting trail, something that the new coaching staff has not been successful with. Indiana’s 2018 recruiting class ranked 10th out of the 14 Big Ten teams as they failed to land a 4-star recruit for the 4th straight year.
Over/Under 5 Wins's Latest Performance :
The Indiana Hoosiers had a combination of both bad luck and a tough schedule last season which resulted in the Hoosiers missing out on a bowl game for the first time since 2014. Indiana was given no favors this season as they will once again see a tough schedule and they will have to do so with 8 new starters on the defense. Oddsmakers have taken that into account and have little to no hope about Indiana making a bowl game as they set the over/under at 5 wins.
Tough Big Ten Road Games
The Indiana Hoosiers were given the advantage of hosting Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio State last season even though they were dealt losses in all three of those matchups. This season the script will flip for Tom Allen and company as the Hoosiers will have road games at Ohio State and Michigan, two of the toughest places to play in football. The non-conference schedule should contribute to Indiana’s win total as they will travel to FIU and then host both Virginia and Ball State. Michigan State and Penn State will both travel to Bloomington for conference matchups and although a win over one of these two teams would be monumental to this program it is highly unlikely.
Indiana Hoosiers's Latest Performance :
Indiana will enter the 2018 season without a set starter at the quarterback position given the departure of Richard Lagow (1936 yards and 15 TDs in ’17) but it’s for a good reason as they will have redshirt sophomore Peyton Ramsey and Arizona grad transfer Brandon Dawkins battling for the starting spot. Peyton Ramey was solid when Lagow went down with an injury last season as he completed 65.4% of his passes while tossing 10 touchdown passes in the process. Ramsey should have the advantage entering fall camp given the fact that he has 2 years of experience in Mike DeBord’s offense. Indiana failed to have a 1000 yard rusher in 2017 but that could be because they had a true freshman shouldering most of the carries as Morgan Ellison rushed for 704 yards on 143 carries. Ellison and Ramsey still have 3 years of eligibility remaining and this could be a tandem who could blow up this year given their success last season. Indiana will be missing out on their top receiver from 2017 as Simmie Cobbs (841 yards and 8 TDs) moved on to the NFL but they will get their top receiver from 2016 back in Nick Westbrook. Westbrook led the team in 2016 with 995 yards and 6 TDs through the air but the redshirt junior missed all of last season after he went down on the opening kickoff of 2017. The defense will be the center of attention for Allen as he will need to insert some of his young inexperienced talent into the lineup given the departure of 8 guys. Tegary Scales leaves a big hole at the linebacker position as the former captain led the team in TFL (12.5), sacks (6.0), and interceptions (2) but Indiana will receive some guys who missed 2017 with injuries or a redshirt year. Marcelino Ball will return for Indiana and luckily for the Hoosiers, he is the best athlete on the defense as the linebacker/safety hybrid is a force in both the run game and in the air. Tom Allen will need a big year out of his starting cornerbacks as the Indiana secondary was only able to come down with 3 interceptions in 2017. Expect Andre Brown and A’Shon Riggins to help get that turnover number up for Indiana as these two guys have been preached about throughout spring ball.
How Over/Under 5 Wins & Indiana Hoosiers Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 5 Wins -Even
Under 5 Wins -120
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
9/1- @ FIU- W
9/8- Virginia- W
9/15- Ball State- W
9/22- Michigan State- L
9/29- @ Rutgers- W
10/6- @ Ohio State- L
10/13- Iowa- L
10/20- Penn State- L
10/26- @ Minnesota- L
11/10- Maryland- W
11/17- @ Michigan- L
11/24- Purdue- W
Overall Record- 6-6
Against The Spread Selection: Over 5 Wins - Even
My reason for the pick :
As I stated Tom Allen had the odds against him in his first full season as a head coach given the cards he was dealt but given the fact that he returns a good amount of offensive weapons I think he does enough to get this team to the .500 hump. Indiana has done enough the last few years to fluctuate around the .500 mark as their last two bowl games the Hoosiers made it on a 6-6 record. Indiana luckily will not see a tough matchup until week 4 as they will get to see a bunch of easy opponents at the beginning of the season, something that will benefit the young defense. The defense will go through growing pains against some of the big powerhouses in the Big Ten which is fine considering they won’t need to pull off an upset to make a bowl game as they should beat a worse Rutgers on the road as well as average Purdue and Maryland at home. Expect Tom Allen to get this team to the postseason as they go over the 5 win mark.