Indiana Opens as 14.5-Point Favorite Versus Maryland

Indiana is looking to bounce back into the win column after its first loss of the season last weekend at Ohio State. Maryland is up next on the schedule, but the Terrapins have missed their last two games because of COVID-19 positive tests.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — After a month of winning, Indiana needs to bounce back from a loss now after falling to Ohio State last weekend. Up next are the Maryland Terrapins, and the Hoosiers have opened as a 14.5-point favorite, according to the gambling website.

This is Indiana's first home game as a favorite. The Hoosiers have upset wins over Penn State and Michigan so far in Bloomington. 

We enter Week 6 in the Big Ten — it's Week 13 on the rest of the college football schedule — having some concerns over whether this game will be played because Maryland has missed its past two games because of a COVID-19 outbreak inside the program. The Terrapins, who are 2-1 with upset wins over Penn State and Minnesota, missed games with Ohio State and Michigan State.

Indiana's prolific offense is looking forward to getting a shot at the Maryland defense, which is giving up 35.3 points per game. Last weekend, Michael Penix Jr. passed for 491 yards and five touchdowns and Ty Fryfogle became the first Big Ten receiver to have back-to-back 200-yard games.

Indiana has been a favorite twice before, in road games at Rutgers and Michigan State. They won and covered in both games. Indiana is 5-0 against the spread this year, the only team in the country to accomplish that goal. 

Indiana and Maryland have played every year since 2014 as Big Ten East members. They last four games have all been determined by a touchdown or less. Indiana has won two in a row in the series.

Not to brag, but I have correctly predicted all five Indiana games this year. I had them losing 37-31 last week in Columbus, saying that they would play Ohio State tough into the fourth quarter, and I was right. I feel like I've had a pretty good pulse on this Indiana team right from the beginning this year

And you know all about my gambling friend Your Walter Ego, who's a Big Ten savant. He follows the league closely, and bets big stacks of money. He went 3-1 last week and is 15-5 on the season. He won huge stacks on Indiana — he's 5-0 too on the Hoosiers, listening to my advice — and he won a lot on Indiana and a little on Minnesota. His only loss was Wisconsin at Northwestern, where he didn't see those five Badgers turnovers coming. 

Walter will make his picks on Thursday. So you really should be hitting the FOLLOW button here on, so you can see all of our content.

Here are the opening point spreads for all of the Big Ten games this weekend

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday)

  • GAMETIME: 1 p.m. ET on Friday
  • TV: FOX
  • RECORDS: Nebraska (1-3); Iowa (3-2)
  • LAST WEEK: Nebraska lost to Illinois 41-23; Iowa beat Penn State 41-21.
  • OPENING LINE: Iowa minus-14.5
  • THE SKINNY: The Hawkeyes have been on a roll, winning three straight games in impressive fashion, and they've got to be thrilled that everything is coming togethger nicely ahead of this rivalry game. Nebraska's loss to Illinois last weekend was embarrassing. Seems like something like that happens every year to Scott Frost's team. You can complain all you want about tough schedules, but if you do, you can't get embarrassed as a big favorite.

Maryland at Indiana

  • GAMETIME: Noon ET 
  • TV: ESPN2
  • RECORDS: Indiana (4-1); Maryland (2-1)
  • LAST WEEK: Indiana lost to Ohio State 42-35; Maryland did not play (COVID-19) 
  • OPENING LINE: Indiana minus-14.5
  • THE SKINNY: Indiana finally lost a game last week, but covered easily against Ohio State to go to 5-0 vs. the spread this week. We're in wait-and-see mode on this game because of Maryland's COVID-19 concerns.

Ohio State at Illinois

  • TV: FOX Sports 1
  • RECORDS: Ohio State (4-0); Illinois (2-3)
  • LAST WEEK: Ohio State beat Indiana 42-35; Illinois beat Nebraska 41-23.
  • OPENING LINE: Ohio State minus-28.5
  • THE SKINNY: Illinois has been hard to figure this year. They've dealt with a blowout loss and then COVID concerns, but they rallied the troops for a huge win at Nebraska last weekend. Unbeaten Ohio State cleared its biggest hurdle of the season in beating Indiana, and now they're just three games away from clinching another Big Ten East title. 

Penn State at Michigan 

  • TV:  ABC 
  • RECORDS: Penn State (0-5); Michigan (2-3)
  • LAST WEEK: Penn State lost to Iowa 41-21; Michigan beat Rutgers 48-42 in OT. 
  • OPENING LINE: Michigan minus-3.5
  • THE SKINNY: Michigan has been favored in every game but one this season, which is amazing considering how horrible the Wolverines have played all year. They were lucky to escape Rutgers with a win on Saturday night. Thankfully, the opponent is Penn State, who might be one of the biggest disappointments in college football history. They were preseason No. 8 in the AP poll and No. 7 among the coaches, but have lost five straight, the first time in program history that it's ever happened. That dates back to 1887, folks.

Minnesota at Wisconsin

  • GAMETIME: 2 p.m. ET
  • TV: Big Ten Network
  • RECORDS: Minnesota (2-3); Wisconsin (2-1)
  • LAST WEEK: Minnesota beat Purdue 34-31; Wisconsin lost to Northwestern 17-7.
  • OPENING LINE: Wisconsin minus-21.5
  • THE SKINNY: Minnesota got a great win last Friday, beating Purdue despite missing nearly two dozen players because of COVID protocols. Wisconsin's first loss of the season was stunning, not for the result but for the five Badgers turnovers. That just doesn't happen usually in this program.

Northwestern at Michigan State

  • GAMETIME: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN2
  • RECORDS: Northwestern (5-0); Michigan State (1-3)
  • LAST WEEK: Northwestern beat Wisconsin 17-7; Michigan State did not play (COVID-19 at Maryland).
  • OPENING LINE: Northwestern minus-11.5
  • THE SKINNY: Northwestern's dream season continued last weekend, and they've gone from 3-9 last year to 5-0 this season. Michigan State had last week off, and the Spartans needed it. They were smashed by Iowa (49-7) and Indiana (24-0) the previous two weeks.  

Rutgers at Purdue

  • GAMETIME:  4 p.m. ET
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • RECORDS: Rutgers (1-4); Purdue  (2-2)
  • LAST WEEK: Rutgers lost to Michigan 48-42 in OT; Purdue lost to Minnesota 34-31.
  • OPENING LINE: Purdue minus-10.5
  • THE SKINNY: Purdue got robbed on a horrible call in last Friday's loss to Minnesota, but there's plenty of blame to go around on their end, too, most notably the two missed field goals. Jack Plummer was good at quarterback, and the Boilers desperately a win here to snap that two-game losing streak. Rutgers really deserved to beat Michigan last weekend, and they will show up and play hard this week, too.