No. 9 Penn State will look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon in Happy Valley following a devastating road loss at Minnesota last week that dealt a significant blow to its College Football Playoff hopes. Despite entering as a more than two touchdown favorite at most PA online sportsbooks, getting back on track will be no easy task for the Nittany Lions against No. 24 Indiana–their fourth ranked conference opponent in five games. Can the upset-minded Hoosiers, a team that is back in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 1994 season (!) stay there by knocking off Penn State for only the second time in 24 meetings, or will James Franklin’s bunch rebound with a statement win (while also covering the spread)? We’ll try to answer those questions with our Penn State vs. Indiana betting predictions and preview.
The Hoosiers will hope to pull off an upset powered by the Big Ten’s top passing attack (308 yards per game) against what was a disastrous Penn State secondary a week ago that allowed Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan to complete 18 of 20 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns.
Indiana possesses a balanced passing game with four players that have at least 25 receptions this season, giving junior quarterback Peyton Ramsey (1,302 yards, 9 TD, 3 INT) plenty of options. Ramsey, who has filled in for starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. on multiple occasions this season, will shoulder the load after the redshirt freshman was lost for the season in Indiana’s 34-3 win over Northwestern two weeks ago.
How to Bet on Penn State vs. Indiana
It’s all about DraftKings Sportsbook, which went live earlier this month in Pennsylvania (and last month in Indiana) and is offering new users in both states a generous $200 first-bet match available right here .
How to Watch Penn State vs. Indiana
- Date: Saturday, November 16
- Time: 12:00 p.m. EST
- Location: Beaver Stadium (University Park, PA)
- Network: ABC
- Announcers: Jason Bennetti (play-by-play), Rod Gilmore (analyst), Quint Kessenich (sideline)
Penn State vs. Indiana Weather
It’s going to be a cold one at Beaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon with temperatures just above freezing at 33 degrees around kickoff under sunny skies. Temperatures are expected to top out in the mid 30s by the fourth quarter, while northeast winds will blow between 6-8 mph.
Note: The over is only 7-15 in Big Ten games with an average temperature between 32 and 37 degrees when the total closes anywhere in the 50s, but it is 4-3 when the total closes between 54 and 56 points.
In other words, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about cold temperatures impacting the scoring.
Penn State vs. Indiana Odds
Here are the current Penn State vs. Indiana betting odds at some of the top legal sportsbooks as of early Saturday morning:
|Indiana||+14.5 (-110)||+450||O 54.5 (-110)|
|Penn State||-14.5 (-110)||-670||U 54.5 (-110)|
|Indiana||+15 (-110)||+475||O 55 (+100)|
|Penn State||-15 (-110)||-650||U 55 (-118)|
With Penn State a near two-touchdown favorite this afternoon, let’s look at this game from a different angle by using ESPN’s FPI model.
Simply put, we like to do this because we feel that it’s often worth a look to compare the implied probability of the moneyline odds with a second source in order to see if any betting value exists.
In relation to the Nittany Lions’ FPI win probability, the -670 moneyline odds (87% implied win probability) at DraftKings Sportsbook mean that there is some ever so slight moneyline value on Penn State.
As for Indiana, there’s no value on the Hoosiers at +450 moneyline odds (18.2% implied win probability) when stacked against the FPI projection.
Penn State vs. Indiana Injury Report
Running back Noah Cain dressed and went through pregame warmups last week at Minnesota but did not play. The freshman, who has rushed for 350 yards on 68 attempts (5.1 ypc) and six touchdowns this season, is expected to play against Indiana.
Noah Cain stepped into the game and made an immediate impact during Penn State's last touchdown drive.
And he's just a true freshman, folks. pic.twitter.com/g3hQOmknWh
— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 14, 2019
As noted above, Indiana starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who has dealt with multiple injuries, will miss the remainder of the season with a right sternoclavicular joint issue. Linebacker Thomas Allen–the son of Indiana head coach Tom Allen–is also out for the season after suffering a shoulder injury in late October.
It’s not a great prop and bet boost market for this game, but FOX Bet does have a few boosts available, including:
- Between 56-59 total points (+650)
- Both teams to score in every quarter (+600)
- Penn State to win by 13+ points (-137)
- Each team to score 1+ TD and 1+ FG in each half (+550)
- Final score: Penn State 35, Indiana 17 (+10000)
FOX Bet is also offering a $25 max bet at +100 odds on Alabama, Penn State, and Michigan to combine for 100+ points.
Three Things to Know
- Indiana leads the Big Ten in passing plays of at least 10 yards and nine different players have scored for them this season.
- Though Indiana is powered by a prolific passing attack, running back Stevie Scott III has run for 737 yards (5.0 ypc) and nine touchdowns this season. He also rushed for 138 yards and two scores on 26 carries against the Nittany Lions last season, so expect him to be a big factor today.
- Penn State has converted on 70% of its red zone opportunities this season, but struggled there a week ago after being held to just two touchdowns and two field goals in six trips. There’s no doubt the Penn State offense can hit the home run—it will likely pop a few big plays this week against a suspect Indiana defense—but whether or not the Nittany Lions can cover the spread today will likely depend on their ability to finish drives inside the 20.
Penn State vs. Indiana Betting Trends
Note: All trends date back to the start of the 2005 season, unless otherwise noted.
Why Backing Penn State is a Good Bet
Penn State has dominated this series with a 21-1 straight up record. Since the 2007 season, the Nittany Lions are 10-1 over the Hoosiers (though they are only 5-6-1 ATS).
Penn State is 14-6-2 ATS at home against teams with a winning record under James Franklin and 7-3-1 ATS against teams with a winning record that have also covered more than half their games.
Penn State is 5-3 ATS at home against ranked opponents under Franklin.
Penn State is 23-15-2 ATS at home under Franklin and 14-9-1 ATS at home in conference games.
Indiana Struggles to Cover Against Elite Opponents
The Hoosiers are just 9-14 ATS against Top 10 teams since the 2006 season and 3-8 ATS against opponents ranked Nos.5-10 since 2008.
Why Backing Indiana is a Good Bet
The Hangover Effect
There are significant concerns about how top teams respond following a loss. The idea here is that teams whose championship aspirations just took a big hit (or were completely dashed) have a difficult time getting up the following week. The numbers certainly support this idea:
- When Top 10 teams are favored by at least 14 points in a game following a loss, such teams are only 16-31-4 ATS.
- Home favorites that were previously ranked No. 5 or higher that are coming off a loss are 27-44-5 ATS, while home favorites that were previously ranked No. 5 or higher that are coming off a loss are only 11-21-3 ATS in the month of November.
Making matters worse, Penn State has been an absolutely brutal cover team following a loss under James Franklin as it is only 2-12-2 ATS following a loss under Franklin and 2-7-1 ATS in games played at home following a loss.
A Word on the Total
In Big Ten conference games played in November or December with a total that closes between 50-59 points, the over is 20-10-1 when the home team went over the total in its previous game while the road team went under.
In Big Ten conference games played in November or December with a closing total between 50-55, the over is 15-6-1 when the home team went over the total in its previous game while the road team went under.
Where’s the Action?
As noted above, the spread and total have remained consistent throughout the week. As of 7 a.m. Saturday morning, 48% of spread bets and 44% of spread money backs Indiana, while 82% of bets and 82% of the money is on the over.
Penn State vs. Indiana Prediction
Penn State should bounce back with a win this week and should cover the spread in the process. They are the better, deeper team and still have plenty to play for over the next few weeks. That being said, the Hoosiers spent over 1,300 weeks out of the AP Top 25 poll and should be plenty motivated to prove they belong.
The Indiana offense will have opportunities to exploit a suddenly shaky Nittany Lions secondary and Scott III proved last season that he can have success against this defense. While I expect Penn State to win and continue its overall series dominance, the brutal ATS performance of highly ranked teams following a loss is enough for me to give the nod to an Indiana cover.
Note: If you’re looking to back Penn State, but would like to eliminate the large point spread from the equation while also avoiding expensive moneyline prices, DraftKings Sportsbook is offering Penn State to win outright and the over at +116 odds.
Meanwhile, let’s say you like Indiana plus the over/under and are feeling really bold. You can grab the Hoosiers to win and either the over or under at +800 odds.
As for me…
Prediction: Indiana (+15) over Penn State and Over 54.5