The number 19 ranked Michigan Wolverines and their emerging star quarterback Denard Robinson travel to Bloomington, IN on Saturday (3:30 pm ET) to take on the 3-0 Indianan Hoosiers in the Big 10 opener for both teams. Michigan has won 16 straight vs. the Hoosiers, and Robinson, who leads the nation in rushing with 688 yards and 10 touchdowns, is expected to play after injuring his knee in last week’s 65-21 win over Bowling Green in Ann Arbor. Michigan has won those 16 consecutive games by an average of 21.5 points, but they needed at late touchdown to pull out a 36-33 win last year at home over Indiana.
While Michigan has relied on Robinson’s work on the ground to get out to a fast start this season, Indiana has been led by the strong arm of Ben Chappell, who has begun his senior season by throwing for 296.7 yards per game with nine touchdowns and no interceptions, including a career-high four TD’s in last week’s 35-21 win over Akron. Chappell played against Michigan last season, and threw for 270 yards with one interception. Michigan was torched for 381 yards passing and 535 total yards against its best opponent to date Notre Dame, so Chappell and company could be in line for a big day. On defense, the Hoosiers have allowed an average of 177 yards per game rushing, ranking 92nd in the nation; they will have to step up their level of play against the explosive Robinson if they hope to stay in this game. It should be an exciting game with both teams possessing the potential for a number of big plays.
The Hoosiers have not started 4-0 since 1990 and have not won their Big 10 opener since 2000, so they will be looking to break a number of streaks on Saturday. Indiana is 5-2 in their last seven games against a team with a winning record though, but only 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog of 3.5-10 points. Michigan is a dismal 3-15 ATS in their last 18 conference games, and 6-17 ATS in their last 20 games as a road favorite of 3.5-10 points.
Michigan vs Indiana Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Michigan Wolverines -10
@ Indiana Hoosiers +10
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Michigan vs. Indiana Prediction for Week 5 Saturday Afternoon Game:
Spread Prediction (Top Play): The play here is to take the Wolverines on the road and lay the points, Robinson and company will certainly be able to put up their share of points on an IU defense that does not have the athletes to keep up with Michigan. Michigan will give up a few points as well, but they should have no problem covering the ten points and notching their first Big 10 win of the year and 17th in a row against Indiana. Robinson has run wild against UConn and Notre Dame teams with far superior personnel than Indiana, and his injury from last week should not affect him here.
Over/Under Prediction: These teams can both score in bunches, but 65.5 is too rich to think about taking the over here. Take the under as Michigan will probably have Robinson out of the game sometime in the second half after the game is in hand to prevent wear and tear on his 193 pound body. The total will not be too far off though so this play is not for the faint of heart! Expect Indianan to move the ball through the air will a great deal of success and for Michigan and Robinson to have their way on the ground all afternoon long. Prediction – UNDER 65.5
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