College Football Pick
By Jason Green
Hard to believe that Michigan State is sitting at 2-3, but after winning their first 2 Games of the season they have lost their last 3. They have only faced 1 ranked team in their 3-Game skid and in that span they have struggled on both sides of the ball giving up an average of 28.23 ppg and only scoring an average of 13.7 ppg.
Northwestern is also at 2-3, but they have won 2 of their last 3 Games against the decent teams of Duke and Iowa. They did Score38 points in their last Game and also gave up 31, but they don’t have a dynamic offense and are led by a defense that ranks 26th in the nation giving up an average of 19.8 ppg.
Northwestern is the slight road underdog in this Big 10 match up and they have covered the spread in their last 6 Games facing the Spartans at Michigan State.
Northwestern was on the road in their last Game beating Iowa 38-31 and covering as an 11-point underdog. Michigan State was embarrassed in their last Game losing at home to BYU 31-14 not covering the spread as a 3.5-point favorite.
The Wildcats had their highest point total in their last Game Where they racked up 362 yards including 198 rushing yards. RB Justin Jackson was the big star of the Game busting out for 171 rushing yards averaging 6.6 yards per carry. QB Clayton Thorson did not have a ton of yards, but passed for 3 TD with 0 INT after getting picked off twice in each of his previous 2 Games. These guys will face a MSU defense that ranks 57th against the pass and 41st against the run.
The Spartans have not gotten it done on offense, especially in their last 3 Games and they do not rank in the top 84 in the nation in either passing or rushing yards per Game. They may turn to a new QB in this Game, as they switched in the BYU Game and they could also use a bounce back Game from lead RB LJ SCott, whose production has declined in every Game this season after he cracked the 100 yards rushing barrier in the season opener.
Northwestern is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road Games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Conference Games, and in their last 5 Games the posted total has gone Under 4 times.
MSU is 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a losing record, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home Games, and in their last 7 Games the posted total has gone Under 6 times.
Neither team has done much offensively this year, though Northwestern did hang 38 on Iowa their last time out. But it’s the Northwestern defense that stands out over the Spartans”D” in this one. Northwesterns yards per point number on defense of 20.4 ranks 12th in the nation and that’s good enough for us to jump on board for this one. Northwestern +4.5