The struggling Rutgers Scarlet Knights will host the Indiana Hoosiers in a Big Ten battle Saturday afternoon from HighPoint.com Stadium. The Hoosiers are coming off a 35-21 home loss to Michigan State, and the Scarlett Knights were crushed 42-13 by Buffalo last week. Indiana notched a dominating 41-0 road win against Rutgers last season.
Hoosiers Fall to Michigan State in First Loss of Season
The Indiana Hoosiers could not recover from a slow start in their Big 10 opener last week, falling 35-21 to #24 Michigan State to drop to 3-1 on the season. Peyton Ramsey was productive, accumulating 272 passing yards with two TD’s, although he did toss two INT’s. The sophomore QB is off to an efficient start to the season, notching 751 passing yards with a 7:4 TD to INT ratio. Hoosiers’ leading rusher Stevie Scott could not solve a stifling Spartans defense, rushing for only 18 yards on 11 carries. Overall, the freshman running back is having a stellar season, accumulating 406 rushing yards in four games. Whop Philyor had his best game of the season against the Spartans, racking up 148 receiving yards, and he now leads the Hoosiers with 194 receiving yards on the season. The Indiana offense fared reasonably well against a tough Spartans defense last week. They registered 262 passing yards, and Peyton Ramsey has completed over 70% of his passes.
The Hoosiers defense struggled against Michigan State last week, conceding four total touchdowns, although they did make two interceptions. The Indiana defense did play well in their first three games which included a 20-16 home win against Virginia. They are currently averaging 29.2 points per game, ranking them 72nd overall. The Hoosiers are allowing an average of 22.2 points, placing them 46th in the country.
Rutgers Routed by Buffalo in Another Blowout Loss
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights were handed their third straight blowout loss last week in their 42-13 home defeat to Buffalo to fall to 1-3. Both QB’s Giovanni Rescigno and Artur Sitkowski saw action, and both struggled to find a rhythm, going a combined 18 for 37 for 168 passing yards. Sitkowski is a freshman and he has struggled, posting a terrible 1:7 TD to INT ratio in two games, while Rescigno has yet to record a TD to go with one INT. Rutgers’ leading rusher Raheem Blackshear has been the Scarlet Knights’ best offensive player this season. The sophomore RB tallied 69 rushing yards last week, and he has tallied 264 rushing yards with an average of 4.8 yards per carry on the season. Senior tight end Jerome Washington had his best game of the season last week, bringing in 62 receiving yards, and he leads Rutgers with 147 receiving yards on the year. The Rutgers offense has struggled in a big way in three straight games, and they rank near the bottom of the country in several offensive categories.
The Scarlet Knights defense was awful for the third straight game against Buffalo, conceding 445 total yards. Their rush defense has especially struggled, and they will be up against a potent Indiana running game this week. Rutgers is only averaging 16.2 points on the season, ranking them down at 127th overall. They are conceding an average of 39 points, pegging them 119th in the country.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after recording less than 170 passing yards in their previous game.
The Indiana Hoosiers are:
- over is 7-3 in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record.
- over is 14-6-1 in their last 21 games following a double-digit home loss.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking Indiana in this one. Rutgers is struggling in a big way, and they have been outscored by a combined 97-27 margin in their last two games. Indiana has received strong production from their running game in three out of their four games, and they are averaging a solid 184 rushing yards per game. They should have a productive afternoon against a Rutgers rush defense that ranks down at 113th in the country. Furthermore, Rutgers has received a minimal contribution from both their running and passing game, and Indiana features a solid secondary that ranks 14th in the nation. Indiana defeated Rutgers 41-0 last season, and I expect another big Hoosiers win in this one.
Prediction: Indiana Hoosiers -17
Full-Game Total Pick
I am taking the over in this matchup. The Rutgers defense has been awful and I expect Indiana to pour on the points. The Scarlett Knights have surrendered at least 42 points in three consecutive games, and they just conceded 42 points to Buffalo of the MAC conference. Hoosiers’ RB Stevie Scott has accumulated 406 rushing yards, and he should put up big numbers. The over is 4-0 in Rutgers’ last four games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game, plus the over is 7-1 in Rutgers’ last eight games following a straight up loss. In addition, I don’t expect Rutgers to need to score many points to allow the over to convert considering their awful defense.
Prediction: Over 52
Full-Game Prop Bet
The over on the Indiana team total is a solid option. Indiana was able to score 38 points against FIU, and 38 points against Ball State, giving me confidence they can score over 34 points against a struggling Rutgers defense. The Scarlett Knights’ defense has been awful against the run, and they are conceding an average of 39 points per game.
Prediction: Indiana Team Total: Over 34.5
Half-Time Side Pick
Indiana is a strong play on the halftime line as well. The Hoosiers are averaging a stellar 19.8 points in the first half, ranking them 32nd in the country. In addition, Rutgers is conceding an average of 25.2 points in the first half, placing them down at 122nd overall in first half defense. Indiana should take control early against an awful Rutgers team.
Prediction: Indiana Hoosiers -8.5
Half-Time Total Bet
I am taking the over on the halftime total. Both teams are averaging more points in the first half this season. Indiana’s offense drops off significantly in the second half where they are averaging 9.5 points. In addition, Rutgers is averaging 10.2 points in the opening half compared to six points in the second half.
Prediction: Over 26
Half-Time Prop Prediction
The first score of the game to come in the form of an Indiana touchdown is a strong play. Rutgers is allowing an average of 11.2 points in the first quarter this season, ranking them down at 117th in the nation. In addition, Rutgers has been outscored 44-10 in the opening quarter in their last three games.
Prediction: First Score of Game: Indiana Touchdown +110