Michigan State vs. Ohio State
Prediction: Michigan State +6 -110 odds (December 7th 2013)
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The Michigan State Spartans are a couple of blown pass interference calls by the refs against Notre Dame away from being 12-0 this season. They have rallied behind one of the most underrated head coaches in the country in Mike Dantonio, who just gives his players the belief that they can beat anyone they play. This team certainly feels like it can beat Ohio State, especially after losing by a single point to the Buckeyes last year. The Spartans weren’t nearly as good last season as they are in 2013.
Michigan State has been winning behind the best defense in the entire country. The Spartans are giving up just 11.7 points and 237.3 yards per game to rank 1st in the FBS in total defense. They have been much better on this side of the ball than Ohio State, which is giving up 355.8 yards per game on the season. That includes 603 yards to Michigan last week in a game the Buckeyes really should have lost, but won 42-41 in Ann Arbor. That’s the same Wolverines’ offense that didn’t managed 600 total yards in their previous two games combined coming in.
While Ohio State does have the edge offensively, Michigan State has been playing very well on this side of the ball of late. It has found its running game, averaging 186 yards per game and 4.5 per carry on the ground this season. Most of that can be attributed to Jeremy Langford, who has rushed for over 100 yards in seven straight games coming in.
Ohio State relies heavily on its running game, but Michigan State has the perfect antidote. The Spartans are giving up just 64.8 rushing yards per game and 2.2 per carry to rank 1st in the country against the run. I believe their ability to stop the run will be the difference in this game Saturday.
Michigan State is 6-0 against the spread in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the past two seasons. The Spartans are 9-1 against the number in their last 10 Saturday road games. Michigan State is 7-1-1 against the spread in its last nine vs. a team with a winning record. The last two meetings between Ohio State and Michigan State over the past two seasons were decided by a combined four points. Bet Michigan State Saturday.
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