Indiana hasn't had the season they thought they would. A lot of that has to do with strength of schedule, having faced the #2, #3, and #7 team in the country in the first 5 weeks. Still, at 2-3 with a tough Big 10 schedule ahead Indiana looks like they may not even be bowl eligible this year.
Meanwhile, Michigan State is already bowl eligible after feasting on subpar teams. They stand 6-0, but not one of those wins is against an FBS team that currently has a winning record. So, they just don't have the experience against the best of the best. That could work to Indiana's favor. At least, the public seems to think that's the case.
Indiana is the underdog in this one, but not by much. They're 4 point underdogs, and they're given +160 odds to win the game outright. That's an implied 38.5% chance to pull off the upset. Meanwhile, Michigan State is given -179 odds, or an implied 64.2% chance to win the game.
Those odds may not seem great if you're a Hoosiers fan, but they are. For comparison, LSU is given +375 odds to defeat #20 Florida in Baton Rouge. Oddsmakers are treating Indiana with a great of respect for a team that's under .500.
Indiana and Michigan State have played each other 67 times in their history. Indiana has won just 17 of those games.
Now, the good news is that Indiana did win last year's matchup. They won it handedly too, 24-0. That should give hope to a potential upset on Saturday. However, Indiana hasn't won back-to-back meeting against Michigan State in over 50 years, when they won 3 straight from 1967-1969.
History just isn't on the Hoosiers side on this one.
At some point Indiana needs to start winning against tough opponents. If they don't, they won't even be bowl eligible this year. After Michigan State, they still have Ohio State and Michigan. If they can't manage to win one of those games, then they'd would need to sweep the rest of their schedule just to get to 6 wins.
The Michigan State game is the easiest of those 3 to win. For that reason, this feels like a must win Indiana.