As Alex tweeted earlier this morning, AccuScore (83 percent), RealTimeRPI (70.4 percent) and Pomeroy (76 percent) all favor the Hoosiers this evening. And as ChronicHoosier added, Vegas is favoring Indiana by 6.5 to 7 points. Penn State (7-4) just lost at home to Maine (184th in Pomeroy’s ratings) by 10. The Nittany Lions only managed 39 points in a loss to Maryland earlier this season.
So, on paper, this is a game the Hoosiers are trending towards a W — especially with this being a home game. But as we saw with last week’s trip to Vegas, being favored and actually winning are often two different things.
Yet, this might be the perfect team for Indiana to get back on track with their shooting percentages from both the field and 3-point land. Penn State is 189th in defensive eFG percentage (49.5 percent) and among the worst teams in the nation (300th) in defending the three (38.9 percent). If Jordan Hulls can get good looks early and Christian Watford is also able to establish himself from the onset, it might give the Hoosiers some early momentum — which could be crucial after the Vegas bombs.
Penn State doesn’t get to the line all that much (274th in free-throw rate), so that may work, in part, to combat Indiana’s tendency to put its opponent on the line at a high rate.
Now, the Nittany Lions are still in the top third in adjusted offensive efficiency (72nd, just a little behind Indiana at 67th) and defensive efficiency (102nd), so it’s not as if this team is of the South Carolina State variety.
But it’s a matchup the Hoosiers could exploit to get pick up their 10th win of the season and get off to a 1-0 start in what promises to be a challenging Big Ten slate.
Filed to: Penn State Nittany Lions