Hoosiers fans cannot be happy that their 6-1 team, whose only loss was to an undefeated Ohio State team who is headed to the College Football Playoff, is stuck playing against a team who finished under .500 in the Outback Bowl.
But, that is the reality and blowing out the Rebels might be the only way to finally silence the doubters and let everyone know this 11th ranked Indiana team is for real.
Ole Miss Betting Preview
Before Halloween the Rebels were sitting at 1-4 and looking like a bowl game was out of the question. Some Ole Miss fans were even starting to call for Lane Kiffin to be fired. Then the Rebels went on a three-game winning streak before losing to LSU in the season finale.
Quarterback Matt Corral has put up some good numbers, if you do not look at his interceptions. Corral has completed 201-of-282 passes for 2,995 yards with 27 touchdowns, but has thrown 14 interceptions. Elijah Moore has been his favorite target with 86 catches for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns.
Jerrion Early leads a Ole Miss rushing attack that is averaging 217.7 yards per game. Early has carried the ball 147 times for 745 yards with nine touchdowns. Offense is not the problem for Ole Miss as they are averaging 562.4 yards per game and 40.7 points.
Defense is where the problem has been for Kiffin and crew. They are giving up 535.7 yards per game and allowing their opponents to score 40.3 points.
Indiana Betting Preview
Indiana has had one of the better seasons in college football, and some thought that they should have been included in a New Year’s Six Bowl. Probably the big factor of them being left out was the season ending injury to quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
When Penix Jr. was injured Jack Tuttle took over under center for the Hoosiers. Tuttle has completed 18-of-27 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
The Hoosiers offense is not nearly as impressive as the Rebels as they are only averaging 358 yards per game. Indiana is super efficient as they turn those yards into points with a 30.1 points per game.
Defense is the strength of this Indiana team. They limit their opponents to 361.7 yards and 19.4 points per game.
Rebels/Hoosiers Betting Lines
Mybookie has Indiana as a 6.5-point favorite. The total is set at 66.5 points.
Free Betting Pick
These teams are polar opposites of each other. The Rebels want to be in shootouts where defense is optional. Indiana, likes to play the time of possession game and let their defense do the work.
Without Penix Jr. Indiana cannot afford for this game to become a shootout. They will want to keep Corral and the Ole Miss offense off the field.
That being said, this year more than any other, you must be careful with playing these games where the games are not being played for several days away due to good ole Covid-19. The fact is, we handicap these games on the basis of the information that we have at the time of publication however players get hurt in practice, players decide not to play in the bowl game and there is also a motivational factor that we need to figure out, and of course, this year we have Covid-19. We will be studying this game and reviewing the numbers several times leading up to the game.
Spooky Express Bowl Pick: Check Back on 1/2/2021