Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers Picks and Game Preview -- 10/16/2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: Noon ET, October 16, 2021
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN
Where to watch: FS1

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Michigan State -4.5
BetMGM: Michigan State -4.5
Caesars: Michigan State -4.5

Season record
No. 10 Michigan State: 6-0 (3-0 Big Ten)
Indiana: 2-3 (0-2 Big Ten)

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Michigan State - Indiana preview and analysis


Recent form
Michigan State: won 31-13 at Rutgers on Oct. 9
Indiana: lost 24-0 at No. 7 Penn State on Oct. 2

Prediction

If you haven’t already, start revving the Heisman engine for Kenneth Walker III.

As long as the Michigan State Spartans keep this going, it’s something that needs to be talked about.

Walker and the Spartans will look to move to 7-0 when Michigan State meets the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday.

Michigan State will look to start 7-0 for the first time since 2015 when the Spartans reached the College Football Playoff and won the Big Ten title. The Spartans were one point away from having a perfect regular season, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are likely still cursed in East Lansing.

But it might be safe to say this version of Michigan State under coach Mel Tucker is better than that 2015 squad. Walker is 88 yards from 1,000 this season to go along with nine touchdowns. Every time he touches the ball, it tends to go a long way. Take note of his 94-yard touchdown  run in the third quarter to cap a 232-yard day on the ground.

Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns; two of them were 63-yard bombs to Jalen Nailor. The receiver had vie receptions for 221 yards and all three of Thorne’s touchdowns; the third was a 65-yard score in the second quarter.

The Spartans offense put up 588 total yards despite having three turnovers, but that’s the fun of playing a Rutgers Scarlet Knights team that hasn’t been great all year. And now the Spartans take on an underperforming Hoosiers team that was supposed to challenge for a Big Ten title.

Instead, Indiana has averaged 23.8 points per game while averaging 28.2 allowed on defense. 

Michael Penix Jr. threw for 118 yards and an interception against the Penn State Nittany Lions in what continues to be a struggling season for the Indiana quarterback. He’s completed only 53.7 percent of his passes while throwing for four touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Prediction


Quite surprised the line is as close as it is, despite the Hoosiers’ struggles. I expect Michigan State to shut down Indiana’s offense and move to 7-0. Michigan State wins by 17

Betting trends


Michigan State is 132-108 straight up against conference opponents since 1992.

The over in Michigan State games is 11-2 in its last 13 after gaining at least 6.75 yards per play in consecutive games.

Indiana is 13-4 against the spread in its last three seasons following a conference game.

Statistical leaders


Michigan State:
Passing: Payton Thorne -- 1,576 yards, 14 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Kenneth Walker III -- 912 yards, 9 TD
Receiving: Jayden Reed -- 492 yards, 5 TD

Indiana:
Passing: Michael Penix Jr. -- 939 yards, 4 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Stephen Carr -- 386 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Peyton Hendershot -- 274 yards, 1 TD

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