2021 Indiana Hoosiers Football Predictions: Season Win Total Picks
2020 Record: 6-2
2021 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 7.5
2021 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: ‘Under’
Last year marked the first time since 1994 that Indiana football was able to tally back-to-back winning seasons. Tom Allen has done one of the best jobs of any coach in the country rebuilding this moribund program, and he heads into 2021 with perhaps his best team yet.
The Hoosiers have 17 starters back from last season, including 10 three-year starters that have helped guide the program to a 14-7 mark over the past two campaigns. The most important of those returning starters is Michael Penix Jr., the uber-athletic quarterback that tore his ACL last November. Penix appears to be at full strength in camp, and his presence would give a big boost to an offense that averaged just fewer than 30 points per game.
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Indiana posted a Top 20 defense last season and welcomes back 19 of 21 players that notched five tackles or more. Indiana was shaky against the pass and was touched up for 42 points against Ohio State and 35 points by Penn State. Yet last year’s 20.3 points per game allowed was nearly a full 10 points better than the 2018 unit.
The Hoosiers were on pace to make the Big Ten Championship Game last season until the league brass changed the rules to promote Ohio State. They enter this season with a lot of confidence. And after going 8-0 against the spread last year, they are going to be on the minds of a lot of bettors and sportsbooks.
Indiana’s schedule is one of the toughest in the Big Ten. They open the year against a very good No. 18 Iowa squad and also have to take on No. 8 Cincinnati at home and No. 19 Penn State within their first five games. The Hoosiers host Ohio State, take on Michigan at The Big House and have a tough rivalry game against Purdue on the road to close the season.
I think that Indiana is primed for a letdown this season. They played great last year and were an absolute monster at the betting window. They aren’t going to sneak up on anyone, though, and the Hoosiers – who enter the season ranked No. 16 – are now a circled game on a lot of people’s schedule.
Penix absolutely has to stay healthy for this team to achieve its lofty preseason goals. Unfortunately, that ACL tear was his second, and there is simply no guarantee that he’ll play all 12 games. I still like this Indiana team to do some damage in the Big Ten. But I think they will go 2-4 on the road and lose at home to Ohio State to barely miss this season win total.
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