After terrible wind caused the Buckeyes to miss covering by 23½ points on the road against Northwestern last week, Ohio State returns to Columbus and will host the Indiana Hoosiers for Week 11 of the college football season. The Hoosiers hit the road on a six-game losing streak and have yet to defeat any opponents when playing away from Bloomington this season.
Meanwhile, despite last weekend’s inclement weather in Evanston, the Buckeyes still set the FBS record for most consecutive games with at least 20 points scored — now 70 in a row. Indiana enters Saturday’s noon kickoff as a substantial underdog, with Caesars Sportsbook listing Ohio State as a 40-point favorite and the over/under total at a combined 57.5 points.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio State Buckeyes
Time/TV: Noon ET Saturday, FOX
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Ohio State -40
Money line: N/A
Analysis: Before making any wagering decisions on Buckeyes football going forward, it is important to understand why the most recent performance should be treated as an aberration rather than with concern. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported winds within range of 80 mph in Cook County during Ohio State’s slog against Northwestern last weekend. This easily explains why playing conditions proved barely tolerable; the teams combined for just 28 points and C.J. Stroud finished with more yards rushing than passing.
In an environment with presumably less destructive weather, trends in performance should hold greater relevance. That said, betting on spreads this high usually carries too much risk to merit consideration. To that point, the Buckeyes have yet to cover a closing spread larger than 31 points this season, going 0-2-1 ATS when the projected margin of victory sits at 37½ or greater.
Furthermore, the visiting team has covered the spread in the past six meetings between these schools. Although Indiana has failed to beat the spread in five straight road games overall, the Hoosiers have successfully done so in six straight visits to Columbus dating back to 2011.
A much safer play would be to consider the over/under. The over has successfully hit the last five contests between Indiana and Ohio State. The Buckeyes have scored no less than 42 points in any of those games and have only posted less than 44 points twice this season. Indiana’s defense thus far allows the third-highest success rate at the FBS level on opposing passing plays (49.8%), so Stroud and the rest of Ohio State’s offense will be eager to air it out after having to operate under such heavy restrictions in their previous outing.
Prediction: Ohio State 52, Indiana 14