Free Week 1 Prediction: Hoosiers vs Cardinals Odds
Looking for Indiana Hoosiers vs. Ball State Cardinals free picks? Week 1 betting sees the Hoosiers taking on the Cardinals Saturday August 31st at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this Indiana Ball State Week 1 free pick.
College Football Handicapping: Week 1
(0-0) Indiana Hoosiers vs. Ball State Cardinals (0-0)
Date: Saturday, August 31st 2019
Time: 12:00 pm EST
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
NCAA Football Spread: Hoosiers -17
NCAA Betting Total: 60.0
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College football is back in full swing and for week 1 the Indiana Hoosiers will meet up with the Ball State Cardinals.
This game will take place at the home of the Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, which has a capacity of 63 000.
The Hoosiers are coming off another disappointing season finishing 5-7 with only 2 wins inside the Big 10. Third year head coach Tom Allen also dropped a bombshell on Hoosiers fans announcing Michael Penix Jr as the week 1 starter.
He is chosen over last year’s starter Peyton Ramsey who had a very commendable season finishing with 2875 yards, a 19-13 TD to INT ratio and a pretty outstanding 66.6% completion percentage.
Ramsey was the safe choice, for sure, but it is understandable that Tom Allen want’s to roll the dice on a guy the whole program was excited to recruit. This is probably the right spot to experiment, as well, as the Hoosiers are 17 point favorites and are likely to still come out on top even with some sub-par QB play.
It is, however, something that is important to note from a betting angle as we don’t really know how Penix will play on such a big stage and coming off a knee injury.
Penix will also have to deal with a key loss on the offensive line in Wesley Martin. The 6ft 3 in 315 pound guard was a revelation for the Hoosiers last year and ended up being drafted by the Redskins in the 4th round in the 2019 NFL draft.
On the other hand, the O-line does get 3 of it’s starters back, so they may be able to continue at a high standard like last year.
Last year IU brought in a new defensive co-cordinator in Kane Wommack who certainly had some success in certain areas. The defense overall was not great, but they did manage to generate a ton of turnovers. The biggest problem, though, was the long ball which burned them constantly last year.
The defense also lost their top 2 tacklers, but the next 9 leaders in tackles all return. The standout defensive player for the Hoosiers is safety Marcelino Ball Jr. who has lightning speed and made 2.5 sacks last year and 7.5 tackles for loss.
Ball State Cardinals
Mike Neu will be looking for more from his side who struggled last year going 4-8 overall. It may be tough to do that, however, as the team has lost plenty of quality this offseason. First off they lost stud running back James Gilbert as he decided to transfer to Kansas State.
They also lost their starting QB Riley Neal who also transferred from the school and went to Vanderbilt.
They may, on the other hand, be able to make up for those losses a they still have plenty of talent on this team. Drew Plitt will be the likely starter and he has some experience in this offense.
Last year when when Neal went down with injury, Plitt was able to step up and throw for 1008 yards with a 65% completion percentage.
He did also only threw 6 TD’s and threw 8 picks so he will need to be a bit better to hold onto this starting role. He will have some great weapons to throw too, though, as Justin Hill and Riley Miller both return who were quite decent last year.
This defense was also terrible last year allowing 450 yards per game and gave up 32 points per game. The defense who ended up ranked 11th in the division now returns 9 starters and will be hoping that last year of experience will help the improve.
The team didn’t have much of a pass rush last year, but managed to put up some relatively decent numbers in the secondary.
The most important part of that unit was Antonio Phillips who is the best corner on the team and managed to get two picks last year. He will need to lead this secondary if the team hopes for some overall improvement this year.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Hoosiers are 6-14-1 ATS in their last 21 games overall.
- Hoosiers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
- Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big Ten.
Free Week 1 NCAA Football Pick
This game really is tough to handicap because it is tough to know how well the Hoosier’s QB gamble will play off. I do, however, think that the Cardinals can cover this spread as I have more confidence in Ball State’s quarterback to be more reliable with his high completion percentage.
I think he will be playing pretty safe in this one and if Ball State can limit turnovers I think it will be tough to find themselves getting blown out.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Cardinals +17
I think Ball State warrants a small bet at the +17 line and I would look for this one to be interesting well into the 4th quarter.
Week 1 Free Score Prediction: Indiana Hoosiers 34 – Ball State Cardinals 24
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