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CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
MICHIGAN STATE VS BOSTON COLLEGE
Good match up between 10-3 BC and 7-5 Michigan State. You can handicap this game by simply taking a quick glance at the schedule of both of these squads this year. When you look at Michigan States dance card, you see a very competitive football team that was in every single game they played this year. They even managed a comeback against Ohio State after having been outplayed for 3 quarters only to come up short in a 24-17 loss. Their 5 losses were all by a touchdown or less and with the exception of Ohio State and Pittsburgh, they were able to hang 24+ points on the board every time out.
BC in off a very good, yet disappointing year. At times, late in the year, they were being named as potential title game participants. But many didn't buy into that and then BC was exposed back in the beginning of November when Florida State came into town and beat them on their home field 27-17. For that matter, if you look to the week before Florida State, the week they pulled out a miracle against Va Tech, they really should have lost that game as well. Had they lost the Va Tech game you'd be looking at a BC team that lost 4 of their last 6 games and against a couple mediocre teams as well, such as Maryland, where they lost a 42-35 shoot out. So much for defense. They even struggled to put a bad Miami team away in their home finale at the end of November.
We respect BC. They are a good solid football team with an exceptional QB in Matt Ryan and the best run defense in the entire country at 68 yards per game. Their secondary has received some criticism but you have to remember something, their numbers against the pass appear bad simply because teams can't run on them and are forced to throw the ball more often. But the bottom line with this team is that they just weren't able to put teams away convincingly this year with the exception of perhaps Army and NC State. Even Army held on for 3 quarters, trailing 23-10 heading into the 4th and UMASS gave BC all they could handle.
Also note that with the exception of Ohio State, Michigan State has been able to run the ball on every team they have faced this year.
We have a few different ways of getting a number on a game and they all have this game being decided by 2 points or less. Based on the performance of both of these teams this year, there is a very high probability that mid way thru the 4 quarter, this game will be up for grabs. When you handicap football games, you want to put yourself in a position to win games in the 4th quarter, similar to what a football coach does with his team. If you're backing an underdog of +3.5 points and your find yourself in a situation where the game is up for grabs with 7 minutes to play, you will end up with more winning bets than losing ones, over the long haul.
With that in mind, we'll grab the points here in a game that figures to come down to the wire.
5* MICHIGAN STATE +3.5