Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST.
Ole Miss +9½ over Indiana
Outback Bowl - Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL
12:30 PM EST. This is strictly a fade of Indiana, a team that enters this game with just one loss on the year but more importantly, the Hossiers are 7-0 against the spread. Indiana has not only covered but they have crushed the number, covering by margins of 20, 14, 16, 21 and 8 in five of their seven covers this season. When a team keeps crushing the number, the market almost always over compensates. This line opened at -6½ at many joints. Some books had opened with Indiana being a -7 point favorite before the efficient market got a hold of this number.
Over the last few days we have seen a few very similar scenarios. For instance, SJSU opened -6½ against Ball State, closed at -9½ or -10 and lost outright. West Virginia also opened at -6½ against Army, closed at -10 and won by three. Yesterday it was Georgia’s turn. The Dawgs opened at -6½ or -7 but closed as a -9½ point favorite and were losing for 59 minutes and 59 seconds before pulling out a miracle win. Cinci covered with ease. Today, put Indiana in that same group.
Indiana is the 11th ranked team in the country with a seven-point loss in Columbus against B1G Champion and CFP participant Ohio State. They’re playing a 4-5 football team. That loss to the Buckeyes looks even more impressive this morning after OSU schooled the juggernaut Tigers last night in prime time.
Indiana’s 6-1 record is an auspicious one at that. Five of their wins came against dregs in Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Rutgers, and Maryland. Most notably, against Penn State, the Hoosiers could have easily lost the game had it not been for Penn State finding a way to beat itself combined with a bounce-and-a-half on a two-point conversion playing into IU’s favor. Indiana’s victory against Wisconsin may suggest that the Hoosiers have some viability to their acclaim, but their win could easily be attributed to the Badgers being depleted at the end of the season knowing that its B1G aspirations had expired. In Indiana’s one-loss this season against Ohio State, the Hoosiers were getting absolutely rolled but the Buckeyes took their foot off the gas too early. Ohio State led by as much as 28 and simply failed to put their boot down on Indiana’s throat. Had the Buckeyes kept it going, they may have won by 50.
In a nutshell, Indiana has picked on the bottom-feeders in the B1G or took advantage of teams playing sloppy, soft, or uninspired against them. We doubt that Ole Miss will be guilty of doing such a thing, as they have shown all season long that they have a penchant for playing up to formidable foes. Just ask Alabama, who the Rebels hung 48 on and proved to be a tough out for the Crimson Tide when no one else even came close to threatening ‘Bama. Make no mistake, the Landsharks can win this one outright, but we cannot overstate just how absurd and inflated these points are.
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Ole Miss +9½ -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)