It’s time for our weekly Over/Under game.
Haven’t played before? It’s easy.
Every week, we’re going to post over/under “bets.” This year we will be tracking picks on the website so please register if you haven’t already.
For the uninitiated, the standard over/under bet is on the total number of points in a game. Basically, a number is set that represents what someone has determined is a likely amount and you choose whether you think the total will be “over” the set number or “under.” Our over/unders will generally be a little more in-depth than simple “total points.”
If you haven’t also submitted your picks for the season-long edition, please do so.
Let’s get to this week’s 5 over/unders.
1. Haydon Whitehead punt average on punts occurring in Indiana territory – Over/Under 45.1
Obviously this won’t count if IU only scores touchdowns every drive, but on the off-chance they punt, we’ll set the line at 45.1. Joseph Gedeon averaged 43 yards per punt on punts occurring in Indiana territory against Ohio State last year. Whitehead is said to have a better leg, but he is making his debut and could have some nerves. Just one shanked punt would probably give it to the unders.
2. J.T. Barrett all-purpose yards – Over/Under 229.5
Barrett was 9 of 21 for 93 yards passing against the Hoosiers last season. He did his real damage on the ground going for 137 yards, a season high, on 26 carries. The 230 all-purpose yards was below his season average of 262.
3. Tegray Scales tackles – Over/Under 10.5
The Cincinnati, Ohio native faces the Buckeyes for the final time. Scales ended 2016 with the 10th most tackles in FBS. He averaged 9.7 tackles per game in 2016 and had 10 against Ohio State last year. His career high is 13.
4. Indiana sacks allowed – Over/Under 2.5
Indiana has some experience on the left side of the offensive line, but the unit as a whole is largely unproven. Coy Cronk and Wes Martin were both starters a year ago, but Hunter Littlejohn, Simon Stepaniak, and Delroy Baker1 have only appeared in limited action. Unfortunately they’ll be going against a defensive line that OSU DC Greg Schiano called more talented than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers line he coached. I think that was probably hyperbole, despite his insistence, but it will be the toughest line that Indiana faces all season. Last season Ohio State was average in sacking the QB at just 2.15 per game. Indiana gave up 2.33 sacks per game last season although only 1 against the Buckeyes.
5. IU running backs with 1+ carries – Over/Under 4.5
We did this for the season-opening FIU game last year and it is applicable again. Indiana has no shortage of running backs available. The depth chart lists Mike Majette followed by Devonte Williams and Cole Gest. Then you add in Morgan Ellison, Tyler Natee, Ricky Brookins, and Alex Rodriguez, and it quickly is apparent that someone isn’t getting carries. Four running backs had at least 1 carry against Purdue last season and only 3 carried against Utah although neither game included then-injured backs Majette and Gest.
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