Michigan State at Indiana Full Sportsbook Odds
NCAAF · Sat (10/16) @ 12:00pm ET
|Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN|
Our Pick: MSU Michigan State at -1.5 (-196). Claim $50 in free bets after depositing $5 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Our Pick: Michigan State -4½ (-110)
Nailor and Walker. All week, the Hoosiers have been reviewing the video of Michigan State, which has been dominated by receiver Jalen Nailor and Kenneth Walker III, a 1-2 punch like no other, maybe, in college football.
Both had magnificent days at Rutgers last weekend, which must have Indiana defenders on edge. Mix in Jayden Reed and a Hoosiers offense that has been spiraling, and homecoming festivities in Bloomington figure to be dampened.
Michigan State Spartans (6-0)
Collegiate players have keen short-term memories, and no doubt every returning Spartan recalls last season’s 24-0 loss to Indiana at home in East Lansing.
They would relish returning the favor, and this one sets up very nicely for Michigan State—which has won 10 of its last 12 against the Hoosiers—to deliver some redemption if not revenge.
Nailor caught TD passes of 63, 63, and 65 yards from quarterback Payton Thorne last week in a 31-13 triumph at Rutgers. On the day, Nailor nabbed five passes for 221 yards, a stunning 44.2-yard average.
Not surprisingly, the first-class PFF scouting service graded him as the best Big Ten receiver that day. (The next three? All Ohio State players. The Buckeyes are pretty good, and Sparty has a date with them in Columbus on Nov. 20.)
A God-fearing native of Palmdale, Calif., Nailor goes by “SpeedyNailor” on Twitter. After his big day, he received a nod from legendary Spartans hoopster Earvin “Magic” Johnson on that social media outlet.
During Walker’s school-record 94-yard TD scamper midway through the third quarter against Rutgers, Nailor cruised next to him to shake Walker’s hand.
Walker, from Arlington, Texas, rattled off 233 yards on his 29 carries, with one TD. With 913 rushing yards, Walker is the country’s top runner.
Those two key a dynamic offense whose 7-yard average is sixth in the nation. It’s 12th in points per play and red-zone scoring (95.2% rate), 17th in average points (35.6), and 21st in average yardage (468).
Indiana must also keep close tabs on Jayden Reed, a fourth-year junior from Naperville, Ill., who might be the fastest Spartan. Nailor and Reed have nearly identical numbers—23 catches for 490 yards. They’ve combined for 11 TDs.
Houston’s Marcus Jones and Reed lead the country with two punt returns for touchdowns, and Reed is No. 1 with a 33.2-yard return average.
The added difficulty for the Hoosiers will be Michigan State’s defense, which yields 0.233 points per play. That’s eighth in the game. Sparty yields yards but not points, it secures the ball and is very good in stripping it from the other guys.
A main disruptor is Jacub Panasiuk (6-4, 250), a fifth-year senior from Roselle, Ill., who has a top-20 4.5 sacks on the season.
Indiana Hoosiers (2-3)
Sophomore quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was bounced from the game at Penn State two weekends ago, the last time the Hoosiers played, with a separated right (throwing) shoulder.
Indiana lost, 24-0, to the Nittany Lions, the first time the Hoosiers had suffered a shutout since 2000, a 58-0 drubbing at Michigan.
Penix was as ineffective as backup Jack Tuttle, a sophomore. Penix has been undergoing treatment, coach Tom Allen said Monday, and he called his player’s status week-to-week.
Even if Penix tries to play, will the shoulder be 100%? Unlikely. Will the Hoosiers run more to offset that handicap? The Spartans figure to capitalize on the deficiency in many ways. Tuttle is not a good option. Indiana is in trouble.
Sports Betting Recommendation
This will be a one-sided affair, and nothing highlights that likelihood more than points per play, one of the most accurate gauges on which we rely to reveal a team’s true ability and identity.
At 0.536, Sparty is among the country’s top-12 offenses. It is steady, too, with scant variance between how it operates at home and what it does on the road.
At the other end of the spectrum is Indiana. At 0.211, only seven programs are worse than the Hoosiers. They’re better at home, at 0.308, but Penix’s shoulder is a big concern. This likely will not be close.