We could see a fired up #25 Wolverines team coming out of the gates for the Michigan at Indiana pick. UM coach Jim Harbaugh is starting to have to coach for his job, and the leash has especially tightened after last week’s 27-24 loss at home to Michigan State as -21 point favorites.
On the other side of the field, #13 Indiana has momentum after starting their season 2-0. Indiana upset Penn State 36-35 in OT as +7 underdogs in the opener, and then took care of business in a 37-21 win at Rutgers last week as -11 favorites. Michigan is a -3.5 favorite on the road Saturday, and 65% of the betting public is banking on a bounce back from the Wolverines.
Michigan Tries to Find Magic From Opener
After the 3-point loss to the Spartans last week, it’s easy to forget how good Michigan looked in their season opening 49-24 win at then-ranked Minnesota. Then again, the Golden Gophers were torched by Maryland last week so maybe the Wolverines 253 rush yard output is a bit overrated.
It could be argued that Harbaugh’s squad was good enough to win last week against the Spartans as well. Michigan tallied another 152 rush yards, and got a 300-yard passing performance from Joe Milton. The Wolverines didn’t commit a turnover, and also led in time of possession, so the loss is kind of strange.
One reason UM lost last week was because they couldn’t stop Michigan State’s passing attack. Rocky Lombardi threw for 323 yards and 3 TD in the Spartans win, which is a good sign for the Indiana offense. The Hoosiers have averaged 36.5 ppg on the year, which is 23rd in the nation.
Is Indiana For Real
The big strategy for the Wolverines heading into the Michigan at Indiana pick is to protect the football. One of the major reasons the Hoosiers have climbed to #13 in the country is because their defense has forced 3 turnovers in each of their first two wins. Great field position has helped an Indiana offense put up a lot of points despite averaging just 87.5 yards rushing and 204 through the air.
Make no mistake, IU quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. was great last week, going 17/26 for 238 yards and 3 TD while adding another score on the ground. One big question surrounding the Hoosiers though is if they are winning, or if other teams are handing the game away. Indiana had just 41 yards rushing and 170 through the air in the win over Penn State, but had scoring drives of 22 yards, 4 yards, and 44 yards.
Even in the win over Rutgers, Indiana managed a modest 134 yards rushing and 238 through the air. The Hoosiers had five scoring drives of 57 yards or less against the Scarlet Knights. That’s not to discredit the IU defense however, as they rank 19th in the country allowing 182 yards/game.
Free Michigan at Indiana Pick
It would be easy to see Michigan come storming out of the gates in this one after losing as huge favorites at home to Michigan State last week. Michigan has won 10 straight in this series dating back to 2006, and have won eight straight by at least a TD. If the Wolverines protect the football, this one should go their way.
Michigan 38 – Indiana 20
Free Pick: Michigan -3.5