Rutgers started off the Big 10 Conference season with a huge 38-27 win over Michigan State last week. Can the Scarlet Knights keep up their winning ways? Rutgers heads into the following week with a date with No. 17 ranked Indiana, who recently knocked off Penn State.
Year 1 Bowl Game?
After starting the season off 1-0, those in the NJ sports betting area might be looking to drop a few bucks on Rutgers to make a bowl game. Earlier in October, the NCAA Division I Council waived traditional bow eligibility requirements, which means that bowls do not require a specific amount of wings. In the past, college football teams would need to have at least six wins.
With just nine games to play, a 5-4 record would get the team into a mid-tier bowl. However, if there are not enough teams with .500 or better records, schools would then be selected based on their Academic Progress Rate score.
With Greg Schiano back in his first year, this would be a huge step in the right direction for the program. With the win, Rutgers snapped a 21-game Big Ten losing streak. One win does not make or break a season, but it does give Rutgers hope for making the postseason for the first time since 2014.
Shaping Up Indiana
Indiana is coming off a 36-35 overtime win over Penn State that included plenty of controversies. The game-winning two-point conversion by the Hoosiers third-year sophomore quarterback Michael Penix Jr was considered a questionable replay decision. Granted, Penn State missed a couple of field goals, so the loss can’t be completely blamed on that one moment.
Penix Jr. finished the game with 170 yards passing with one touchdown on 19 of 36 attempts. The ground game was led by Stevie Johnson III with 56 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. It’s all going to come down to how much the Rutgers defense can get to the Indiana offense. Last week, Rutgers forced and recovered five fumbles.
This is Schiano’s first rodeo, which is good news for Rutgers. Many forget that Schiano was the leader of the football team from 2001 to 2011 when the team was winning. When Schiano gave the NFL a try, which failed in various ways, so did Rutgers in a way. This almost feels like a redemption story for both teams. Luckily, since Schiano knows the importance of building momentum, this could help propel the team towards another win.
Rutgers are a heavy underdog in this game. The Scarlet Knights are given +355 odds (bet $100 to win $335), while Indiana is listed at -455. A lot of that hype might be following Indiana after stunning the No. 8 ranked team in the country. However, Indiana will have a rowdy crowd of 500 fans in attendance.
If the defense can secure takeaways, then the team will have a chance. Of the five turnovers, Rutgers scored on touchdown drives of 1, 23, and 26 yards. It will be interesting to see if Rutgers can go from Cinderella story to Big Ten contender.
Current Outright Big Ten Championship Favourites
One of the most competitive markets throughout the season for college football fans is the outright betting market. Gamblers will be able to wager on the team that they believe will win the Big Ten Championship, but neither of the sides involved in Indiana vs Rutgers fixture are among the favourites in the betting this season.
Indiana have the shorter odds for the championship from the two teams involved in this match, as they are priced at +3000 at present. The heavy favourite in the betting to win the championship is currently Ohio State, who are priced at -1600. There isn’t much doubt that Ohio State will be one of the leading sides in the Big Ten this season, as they have started the season in excellent form by winning all three games.
Ohio State have been dominant in all victories so far this season after they opened the season with a 52-17 blow-out win against Nebraska. Back-to-back victories against Penn State and Rutgers have followed that win, and there will be a lot of attention of the Ohio State vs Indiana fixture on November 21st, which could be Ohio’s biggest test to date.
Wisconsin are considered the leading chance from the B10 West division, as they are priced at +1000 to win the championship. They have played just one game so far this season, with that ending in a 45-7 victory against Illinois. Jake Ferguson was the standout player in that match as he scored three touchdowns.
However, there is still a long way to go this season, which means that the odds could change depending on whether teams such as Purdue and Northwestern are able to maintain their strong start to the season.