College Football Pick
Ohio State didn’t get the results it needed last weekend and funny enough it was because rival Michigan lost. If the Buckeyes win out, as does Penn State, then the Nittany Lions would make tie Big Ten title Game. But that’s not something they should think about now with two Michigan’s on the Schedule in the next two weeks. The Buckeyes opened as large -23 point road favorites early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Michigan State won this Game last year, but that was improbable at the time and it’s even more improbable this time around. Neither team could pass the ball in that meeting, while the Spartans had enough on the ground to get the late win.
Expecting that to happen this season would be crazy. MSU is coming off a big win, but it was against Rutgers and it was only their first Conference win of the year. The Spartans have been gashed by every team in the Big Ten this season, losing to Maryland and Illinois as well as giving up 54 points to Northwestern. They fought against Michigan at home a few weeks ago and that’s about the only reason to back them here.
since losing at Penn State and getting challenged by Northwestern, the Bucks have dominated in back-to-back Games, beating Nebraska and Maryland both by a 62-3 Scoreline. As long as they continue that play, there aren’t many signs that point to the Spartans competing in this Game. The one sign that does is that Michigan State hasn’t been beaten by more than 14 points since losing to Wisconsin 30-6 in their Conference opener.
The Buckeyes should continue offensively what they’ve done the last two Games. J.T. Barrett has quietly climbed backed into Heisman consideration having not thrown an interception in Four straight Games. In his last Four, he’s completing more than 65% of his passes to go with nine total touchdowns. Maybe his numbers aren’t amazing, but he leads one of the higher scoring offenses in the country. Helping him throughout the season has been Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel.
The Spartans haven’t seen an offense this explosive all season (and that includes Michigan), so it’s a wonder how they’ll look. Either way, they have one of the worst third-down defenses and that won’t help against Barrett and company.
On the other end, Michigan State’s only way of success will come from running the ball, whether that’s LJ SCott or Gerald Holmes. SCott ran for 139 yards against Michigan, so there is still some hope for this offense. If the run Game doesn’t reach those levels, that’s going to be too much to ask for from quarterback Tyler O’Connor, who has struggled regularly against mediocre or better defenses.
On the outside, this looks like another blowout for Ohio State. But considering this is Michigan State’s final home Game and they already played tight with Michigan, there are some reasons in backing the Spartans here.
The Buckeyes have failed to cover in their last Four against a team with a losing record, but are 5-1 ATS in their last six following an ATS win. The Spartans are 2-6 ATS in their last eight overall and 1-4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The underdog has covered in the last five meetings between these teams, while the road team is 7-1 ATS in their last eight.
Our Pick – Ohio State -21.5