Indiana University isn’t a football school – is it?
If there’s any year for them to turn into one – albeit temporarily – 2020 would be it.
This year of strangeness has gifted Hoosiers their best team in decades. And Saturday will be the team’s biggest game in more than 50 years.
IU enters its matchup in Columbus with third-ranked Ohio State as a top-10 team (ranked ninth). IU leads the Big Ten with a 4-0 conference record; Ohio State sits at 3-0.
It will be the school’s first-ever regular-season top-10 matchup, and possibly the football program’s biggest game since the 1968 Rose Bowl versus top-ranked USC.
Still, sportsbooks give IU little shot at an upset, much less a Big Ten title or College Football Playoff berth.
But this season, anything is possible.
IU sits at three-touchdown dogs against Ohio State
IU is posted on DraftKings as 20.5-point underdogs and +650 on the moneyline.
FanDuel has IU up to +710 but also at 20.5.
That line remains unchanged since opening.
IU’s team points over/under sits at 22.5, with the game total at 66.
It is an unsurprising spread considering the powerhouse that is Ohio State, led by Heisman contending quarterback Justin Fields.
Fields is currently listed at +250 to win the annual award, behind only Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at +200.
Nonetheless, the Shoe won’t be its usually intimidating presence without the more than 100,000 fans that typically pack it on fall Saturdays. That will be a boon for Hoosier skill players.
Plus, IU enters with its own playmaking quarterback, Michael Penix Jr., who grabbed the national spotlight for his game-winning touchdown dive against Penn State.
But while Penix has helped IU become one of the nation’s darlings, don’t expect IU’s severe underdog status to shift much before game-day. Ohio State possesses too much NFL talent for many to bet against.
Where does IU stand in conference futures?
IU similarly sits as a major underdog to win the Big Ten.
Here are the team’s odds on Indiana’s five most popular sportsbooks:
- DraftKings: +1400
- FanDuel: +1200
- BetMGM: +1400
- BetRivers: +1400
- PointsBet: +1200
Wisconsin (+700 on DraftKings) is ranked ahead on all sportsbooks.
IU hasn’t won a Big Ten championship since 1967, the same season it played in the Rose Bowl.
Sportsbooks don’t expect that trend to end this year, especially considering Ohio State’s 24-game winning streak against the Hoosiers.
Ohio State second in line to win nat’l championship
Prior to Saturday’s matchup, the Buckeyes sit as the second-ranked favorite to win the national championship, according to DraftKings.
At +250, Ohio State is behind only Alabama. The Tide right now have +125 odds to secure Nick Saban his sixth championship. Clemson is third at +350.
Indiana, meanwhile, finds itself at +8000 to win it all.
That puts the Hoosiers on par with schools like BYU, Cincinnati, and fellow Big Ten squad Wisconsin.
If IU can pull off a big upset this weekend, expect to see those odds shift at your favorite sportsbooks.