Michigan State – Nebraska CFB Spread Winner

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Michigan State

vs.

Nebraska

Big 10

Free College

Football Pick

11/7/15

Things couldn’t have started worse for Mike Riley in his first season as Nebraska head coach. The Cornhuskers have struggled since the start of the year and now sport a 3-6 record with two Top 10 teams still on the Schedule. Michigan State is 8-0, but hasn’t been kind to bettors and that’s a main reason the Spartans are only -4.5 point favorites on the road.

Nebraska is hurting, that’s for sure. While quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. will return for this Game, they lost playmaker De’Mornay Pierson-El for the season. The Cornhuskers haven’t been bad, they just haven’t been able to close out Games. Their six losses have been by a combined 23 points. That’s not a whole lot, especially considering their last loss at Purdue was by 10 points and that was without Armstrong.

Those close Games are a main reason MSU isn’t favored by much, as well as the Spartans inability to win Games easily this year (that 26-point win vs. Indiana was kind of fluke-ish with 24 Fourth-quarter points). However, this team is coming off a bye and may be the healthiest it’s been since the start of the year. They get back most of their offensive line to full strength and the secondary should be a little healthier as well.

While Armstrong didn’t play last week, that doesn’t excuse the defense for allowing 55 points to Purdue. The Cornhuskers have been iffy on defense all year, but for the most part have struggled against better offenses. MSU will probably be the best offense they’ve faced thus far and Connor Cook could be in line for a big day.

Nebraska gave up Four TDs to freshman QB David Blough last week, so it’s hard to see how they will stop Cook. The senior quarterback is a silent Heisman candidate at the moment and continues to gain buzz. He has 17 TDs on the year with only two INTs and he’s seemingly only getting better. The Huskers will have their hands full with him and Aaron Burbridge (52 receptions). Another issue is that MSU’s rushing Game should be better with a healthier offensive line. LJ SCott (nine TDs) and Gerald Holmes could find more success than they’ve had all year.

On the other end, Armstrong returns after missing the Purdue Game. Even if running back Terrell Newby can’t find holes in the ground Game, Armstrong could be in for a solid outing. The Spartans tend to struggle with running quarterbacks and their secondary has been beat up by most offenses this year. Armstrong is turnover-happy at times, but still has 16 passing TDs on the year and could be in line for a big day with receiver Jordan Westerkamp (49 receptions, 658 yards).

Because of MSU’s deficiencies in the secondary, Armstrong and the offense should be able to keep this Game rather close, which is a reason to take Nebraska at home, although maybe not the money line.

Michigan State has won the last two matchups, including last year’s 27-22 battle. In 2013, the Spartans won 41-28 and covered a -5.5 point spread in Lincoln.

In the last five meetings, the Cornhuskers have covered Four. However, the Huskers have not covered in Four straight home Games against a team with a winning road record. Both teams have trends that point to the over as well.

Our Pick – Michigan State -6

 

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