Indiana – Michigan State College Football ATS Pick

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Indiana

vs.

Michigan State

College Football

Pick – Analysis

10/24/15

These two teams were at opposite end of heartbreakers on Saturday. Michigan State’s win will go down in football lore while Indiana let a 25-point lead against Rutgers slip away and allowed 28 straight points. The Spartans, having covered their first Game last weekend, are back to being double-digit favorites and opened as -16.5 point home favorites at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.

The line seems a bit big for a number of reasons. While Michigan State overcame public bettors last Game as a 7-point underdog, this is still a team that had trouble separating itself from Rutgers and Purdue, among others. The Spartans have loads of injuries on the offensive line and in the secondary, which is not conducive to covering large spreads.

That depleted secondary should come into play this Game, as Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld is coming off a 464-yard, 4 TD Game. Michigan’s Jake Rudock found a lot of wide-open targets last Game, but they didn’t attack the air Game as much as Indiana likely will. Even Chris LAviano and Leonte Carroo torched the MSU secondary a couple weeks ago.

Sudfeld was a Game-time decision against Rutgers, but it’s hard to see him sitting out of this Game now. If Sudfeld doesn’t go, that will obviously change things as the Hoosiers don’t have a great backup. Sudfeld has a number of targets to turn to, most notably the trio of Ricky Jones (624 yards, 4 TDs), Simmie Cobbs Jr. (424 yards) and Mitchell Paige (23 receptions). While running the ball may be difficult with Jordan Howard (709 yards, 4 TDs) and Devine Redding (413 yards, 7 TDs) against MSU, they should be able to move the ball through the air.

Not to mention the Spartans are in a classic letdown Game here, coming off an extremely improbable and emotionless win. Maybe the reason for a big spread is a result of last year’s result in which MSU won 56-17 on the road. However, this is not the same Spartan defense with injuries.

On the opposite end of the field, Indiana’s defense will have its hands full, especially after allowing 28 points to Rutgers in the final 17 minutes of that Game.

The Spartans should have no problem moving the ball, whether it’s Connor Cook or the committee of running backs. Cook was at his best against Michigan, who has one of the best secondaries in the country. While he’s completing 57.4% of his passes on the year, Cook has 13 TDs to only two interceptions. He’ll likely look to Aaron Burbridge (44 receptions, 702 yards, 4 TDs), and the two should have another huge Game, especially after Carroo tore apart this Indiana secondary last week.

Despite that, MSU still has a power running Game, although didn’t find much room against the Wolverines. LJ SCott (8 TDs), Madre London and Gerald Holmes will all see carries, and there’s no reason to believe that the Hoosiers can stop them.

Even with this Game being in East LAnsing, it wouldn’t be surprising for Sudfeld and company to keep up on the scoreboard. This will be yet another high-scoring Game for Indiana, and the two-plus touchdown spread seems a bit big.

The Hoosiers haven’t covered in six straight Games on the grass, but the over is 6-1-1 in their last eight on grass. As for the Spartans, they still haven’t covered a Game at home this year and sport a 1-6 ATS mark overall. The over has hit in seven straight meetings between these teams, while the Spartans have covered in five straight in East LAnsing.

Our Pick – We have this right around the number, slightly favoring Michigan State. We’ll go ahead and lay the -16.5 but it’s a weak call. Michigan State -16.5