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Indiana Now 2.5-Point Underdogs vs Tennessee After Opening as Favorites in Gator Bowl

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Dec 31, 2019 · 10:23 AM PST

An Indiana football player looks on
Indiana is now a 2.5-point underdog to Tennessee in the Gator Bowl after opening as a small favorite. Photo by Phil Roeder (Flickr).
  • The Hoosiers, who opened as small favorites, are now 2.5-point underdogs against Tennessee
  • The Volunteers will be without their top wide receiver for the first half of the Gator Bowl (Jan. 1)
  • Read below for the latest odds and advice on how to bet Thursday’s matchup

The Indiana Hoosiers (8-4, 5-4 Big 10) and Tennessee Volunteers (7-5, 5-3 SEC) faceoff in the Gator Bowl on Thursday, January 2nd (7:00 PM ET).  The Hoosiers opened as -1 favorites, but the line has since shifted in favor of the Volunteers.

Indiana vs Tennessee Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Tennessee -2.5 (-110) -130 Over 52.5 (-110)
Indiana +2.5 (-110) +110 Under 52.5 (-110)

Odds taken Dec. 30.

Both teams are 7-5 ATS. Peyton Ramsey leads a dangerous Indiana pass offense, while Tennessee will be without one of their top players for the first half of the game.

What is the best bet in the 2020 Gator Bowl?

Tennessee Is Soaring 

Tennessee enters the Gator Bowl on a five-game winning streak. The Volunteers have taken down South Carolina, UAB, Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt and covered the spread in all but one of those games.

Indiana enters this game with two losses in its last three games, but those defeats were at the hands of Penn State and Michigan. The Hoosiers haven’t been able to pull off upsets of the Big Ten powerhouses, but they’ve taken care of business in every game as a favorite.

Indiana Has Explosive Pass Offense

The Hoosiers have one of the best pass offenses in the country, averaging 308.7 yards per game through the air. A big reason for that success is the play of QB Peyton Ramsey, who won back the starting role from Michael Penix Jr. In eight full games, the junior QB threw for over 2,000 yards and 12 TDs with just four interceptions.

Ramsey has several skilled targets at wide receiver, including Whop Philyor, who has over 1,000 receiving yards. There are also three other players on Indiana with over 500 receiving yards. Tennessee is only allowing 191.3 passing yards per game, but their secondary has been torched by high-powered pass offenses this season.

While the Vols haven’t had a problem stopping the weaker SEC offenses, they’ve been exposed by Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Florida’s Kyle Trask, and Georgia’s Jake Fromm. Indiana’s pass offense was next to only Ohio State’s in the Big Ten this year and can do major damage against this Volunteers secondary.

Vols’ Jauan Jennings Suspended

Tennessee will be without their best wide receiver for the first half of the Gator Bowl. Jauan Jennings has been suspended by the SEC after he reportedly stepped on Vanderbilt receiver Justice Shelton-Mosley’s face. This is significant considering Jennings leads the team with 942 receiving yards and has been QB Jarrett Guarantano’s favorite target with 59 receptions on the season. No other player on the team even has 30 catches.

The Volunteers have scored over 30 points in just one game this season, so Indiana has a great chance to grab control of the game in the first half. The Hoosiers have been a top-50 team when it comes to defending the pass and are also solid defending the rush with under 140 rushing yards allowed on average per game.

Farewell Game For Hoosiers’ Kalen DeBoer

I’m expecting an emotional effort from Indiana in offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer’s final game. DeBoer was hired to be Fresno State’s next head coach on Dec. 17, but the OC insisted he wanted to call plays for the Hoosiers one final time .

The play calling from DeBoer has been a big part of Indiana’s first eight-win season since 1993 . Even in Indiana’s toughest defensive matchup in the second half of the season, they were able to carve up Penn State’s secondary for over 400 total yards and cover the spread. I don’t doubt their ability to do it again against a below-average defensive team.

Betting Advice

Tennessee has been playing well defensively, but they haven’t fared well against elite offenses this season. Indiana has a very dangerous pass offense that will do damage against this secondary.

Losing Jauan Jennings for an entire half will hurt, and Ramsey and company will rely on their passing game to take advantage and send DeBoer off with a big victory.

Pick: Indiana Moneyline (+110)

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