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Miami vs Indiana Predictions, Odds, and Picks: Hoosiers Are Balanced on Both Sides of the Ball

The Hoosiers will look to break a lengthy Sweet Sixteen drought on Sunday when they take on the Hurricanes as slight favorites. Find out where the handicapping edges lies for this one in our Miami vs. Indiana betting picks.

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2023 1:26 PM ET Read Time: 4 min

The No. 5 seed Miami Hurricanes are set to face off against the No. 4 Indiana Hoosiers in the second round of our March Madness picks on Sunday night.

The Hurricanes are looking to make the Elite Eight for the second-straight year but had a tough time shaking off Drake in the opening round. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers haven't been to the Sweet 16 since 2016 but breezed by Kent State in their opener.

March Madness odds opened with the Hoosiers as 1.5-point favorites for this Midwest Region clash. Here are my best free college basketball picks and predictions for Miami vs. Indiana on March 18.

Miami vs Indiana best odds

Miami vs Indiana picks and predictions

As explosive as the Miami Hurricanes are on offense, it's tough to trust a team that struggles on defense at this point in the season. Keep in mind that no team outside the Top 50 in adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom has made the Final Four since 2012, and Miami ranks just 112th. 

The Hurricanes are outside the Top 200 in opponent effective field percentage (51.8%) and they don't do a good job of forcing turnovers or cleaning the glass on defense. The Canes were able to recover from a piss-poor shooting performance against Drake, but they struggled with the physicality of the Bulldogs and their upcoming opponent brings that same size and grit to the table.

The Indiana Hoosiers are a far more balanced team that is able to defend at a high level inside the arc while also shooting well. The Hoosiers are 16th in the country in opponent 2-point percentage (45.1%), with that number dropping to just 34.2% over their last three games.

They also rank 36th in the country in effective field goal percentage (53.7%) and should be able to take advantage of a shaky Miami defense that has surrendered more than 80 points in four of its last nine games.

My best bet: Indiana -1.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

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Miami vs Indiana spread analysis

Coming into the NCAA tournament, the Hoosiers had gone just 4-4 straight up and 2-6 against the spread in their previous eight games. However, they looked good in the Round of 64 against Kent State, winning 71-60 to cover as 4-point chalk.

It was an impressive performance by the Hoosiers, who shot 47% from the floor and turned the ball over just seven times while holding the Golden Flashes to 32% shooting.

Miami had a much tougher time in its first-round matchup against Drake, with the Bulldogs having an eight-point lead with five minutes left in regulation until the Canes closed the contest on a 16-1 run.

Miami's normally high-octane offense was held in check, with its Top-3 leading scorers Jordan Miller, Isaiah Wong, and Norchad Omier combining to shoot just 5-26 from the field. The difference in that contest was Miami getting to the line for 29 free throw attempts (draining 23) while Drake knocked down just five shots from the charity stripe. 

The Hurricanes won the regular season ACC title with a 15-5 record but their poor defense has been alarming. Over the last couple of months, the Canes have given up more than 80 points on five occasions, including a pair of bad performances against terrible Louisville and Florida State squads. 

The Canes have a highly-efficient offense, with four players averaging more than 13 points per game. Nijel Pack (13.4 ppg) was the only one to shoot well against Drake but Wong (15.8 ppg), Miller (15.0 ppg), and Omier (13.6 ppg) are usually very efficient at filling up the hoop.

The Hoosiers are anchored by first-team All-American forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, who leads the team in points (20.9), rebounds (10.9), assists (4.1), and blocks (2.8) per game while boasting a 57.8 field goal percentage.

Guard Jalen Hood-Schifino (13.3 ppg) is the only other Hoosier averaging double digits in scoring, while Race Thompson chips in with 8.3 ppg and dropped 20 against Kent State.

Miami vs Indiana Over/Under analysis

The Hoosiers looked lost on defense at the start of January as they dealt with injuries to two of their top defenders in Xavier Johnson and Thompson. However, they began defending much better once Thompson came back and they've since adjusted to life without Johnson.

Indiana is 43rd in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency and has limited foes to 67.2 ppg in its last 18 games. However, the Hoosiers played plenty of slower-paced, lower-scoring teams in the Big Ten, and gave up 90 to an up-tempo Iowa squad three weeks ago.

The Hurricanes are certainly offensively gifted and average 78.9 ppg while ranking 12th in adjusted offensive efficiency. They are also very efficient from mid-range, which is an area where the Hoosiers struggle to defend. 

That said, the Hoosiers do an excellent job of finishing at the rim and should be able to take advantage of a Miami defense that allows opponents to shoot 51.8% from inside the arc (255th in the country)

The Hoosiers attempt 3-pointers at one of the lowest rates in the country, while the Canes rank just 268th in 3-point rate. The fact that they aren't overly reliant on those shots makes for less variance in their offensive production.

Miami vs Indiana betting trend to know

The Hurricanes are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. Find more college basketball betting trends for Miami vs. Indiana.

Miami vs Indiana game info

Region: Midwest
Location: MVP Arena, Albany, NY
Date: Sunday, March 19, 2023
Tip-off: 6:40 p.m. ET
TV: [1 NATMiami L or BOTH LOCAL]

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