Indiana Looks for Fourth Win vs. Ranked Foes

Mar 2, 2014

Indiana has defeated three Top 25 teams at home this season, and the Hoosiers will be looking for their seventeenth win of the season when the Buckeyes arrive in Bloomington Sunday afternoon. Momentum seems to be on the side of the Hoosiers after they dismantled No. 20 Iowa by a score of 93-86 on Thursday.

“We just finally said let’s play our game,” Stanford Robinson said. “The way coach Crean has been wanting us to play since day one.  They’re a good running team, so we decided to just run back with them. Good things happen when we run.  We have a lot of athletes on this team.  Lot of people that can get out and run and jump high and do a lot of things. And Yogi (Ferrell) with the speed that he has and having Will, it creates a lot for a lot of other people.”

Meanwhile, Ohio State has dropped three of its last four road games versus unranked opposition, including Thursday’s loss at Penn State (65-63).  The problem for the Buckeyes has been a pathetic offense that is averaging just 62.3 points per game on the road on 42.0% shooting from the field.  Overall, Ohio State is 2.2 points per game better than average offensively (70.2 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 68.0 points per game), which is not good enough to penetrate a solid Indiana defense.

Indeed, Indiana is allowing 67.1 points per game to teams that would combine to average 71.0 points per game, thereby making the Hoosiers 3.9 points per game better than average defensively.  However, the key to Indiana’s success is playing inside Assembly Hall where the Hoosiers are 13-3 and limiting opponents to just 64.1 points per game on 38.6% shooting from the floor and 27.6% from beyond the arc.  Indiana’s stifling defense, combined with the fact that Ohio State is averaging just 62.2 points over its last five games, gives the Hoosiers a significant edge on the defensive end of the floor this afternoon.

While it is certainly true that Ohio State’s success is predicated upon an outstanding defense (13.2 points per game better than average), the Hoosiers play their best ball at home where they are averaging 77.4 points per game on 47.0% shooting from the floor. Overall, Indiana is 4.2 points per game better than average offensively (73.1 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 68.9 points per game), which ultimately gives the Buckeyes a 9.0 points per game advantage defensively in this contest.  But, that conclusion must be qualified by the dichotomy between Indiana’s offensive efficiency at home as compared to on the road.

Finally, our experts really like the fact that Indiana is 23-9 ATS in games with a point spread between +3 and -3 and 12-3 ATS at home after covering the Vegas number.

Pro Edge Sports Pick: Indiana (+3) (-120)