David Caraviello for Bookies.com

By David Caraviello | | 5 mins

Cincinnati at Indiana Odds, Betting Lines & Picks

Cincinnati at Indiana Odds, Betting Lines & Picks
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Are the Cincinnati Bearcats for real? We begin to find out this week, when they embark on the first half of difficult back-to-back games in the Hoosier State: At resurgent Indiana on Saturday, and then at Notre Dame after an off week.

The Bearcats are road favorites, no surprise given that they’ve won 11 straight regular season games and have become fixtures in the top 10. The Hoosiers do have quarterback Michael Penix Jr. back from the ACL injury that cost him the end of last season, though he’s looked inconsistent to this point. Indiana also hasn’t lost at home since 2019, another wrinkle for those who love college football betting to consider, especially at Indiana sports betting sites.

Cincinnati vs Indiana Key Matchups

Indiana’s defense vs. Desmond Ridder: After being gashed by Iowa in their opener, Indiana’s defense showed some fight last week in holding FCS Idaho to negative yardage for most of the first half. They get a far bigger test against Ridder, who’s tossed six TDs to one interception so far.

Michael Penix Jr. vs. Cincinnati’s defense: While Penix’s outing against Idaho was better than his dismal start at Iowa, he still doesn’t look like himself. Now comes a Cincy defense that’s forced turnovers in 21 of its last 22 games, including five last week against Murray State.

Cincinnati vs. distractions: The move to the Big 12, Notre Dame in two weeks ... if there’s a danger for the Bearcats, it’s everything else going on around the program. Perhaps that’s why they were tied with Murray State at halftime.


5 Key Cincinnati vs Indiana Stats

8-2: Indiana’s record against the spread since the beginning of last season. The Hoosiers were 7-1 last year and are 1-1 so far in 2021.

8-1: Indiana’s record at Memorial Stadium since the start of the 2019 season, with the lone loss in that span a 39-14 setback to Michigan in late November 2019.

88: Winning percentage as a starter of Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder, best among all current signal-callers in FBS football.

3: Interceptions thrown by Penix Jr. so far in 2021, as compared to four last season.

22: The national ranking of Cincinnati’s defense, which is facing an Indiana offense that ranks 113th.


Cincinnati vs Indiana Weather Forecast

It could be a wet one in Bloomington. Forecasts call for temperatures in the low 70s with a 30% chance of rain around the noon kickoff. Bettors should keep an eye on the forecast as game day approaches, given how pass-oriented both offenses are.

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Cincinnati vs Indiana Moneyline

Cincinnati opened as a -165 road favorite against the +145 Hoosiers at sportsbooks. With 16 starters back from last year’s 9-1 team that suffered its lone loss in a close one to Georgia in the Peach Bowl, this remains a formidable program.

No, they haven’t played anyone yet this season. But the talent is enough to like them to win outright at Indiana, which was hammered the last time it played a quality opponent. And yet, when making college football picks, betting a clear favorite on the moneyline doesn’t pay enough to merit the risk. We’d steer clear of the Cincinnati vs Indiana odds on this one.


Cincinnati vs Indiana Point Spread

Indiana opened as a 3.5-point underdog at home at most betting apps. The Hoosiers were a tremendous option for spread bettors last season, thanks to how often they carried favorable college football odds against name opponents.

This season, though, there are no surprises, and Penix is clearly still trying to find his form. Cincinnati’s distractions and lack of solid competition to this point are nagging concerns, but not enough to stop us from taking the Bearcats to cover at DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Cincinnati vs Indiana Totals

The total has been set initially at 50.5 by betting sites, a number each team has exceeded once so far this season. It’s hard to tell how truly potent Indiana is offensively, given Penix’s early struggles.

But we know Cincinnati’s defense is very good; since the start of last season, it’s allowed more than 24 points just once. Unders have dominated through the first two weeks of the season, and it could be a soggy first half. That’s enough to convince us to go under the total at BetMGM Sportsbook.

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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.