What: #14 Ohio State Buckeyes vs #20 Michigan State NCAA Football
When: 3:30 pm EST. Saturday. September 29, 2012
Where: Spartan Stadium. East Lansing, MI.
In the world of college football betting, Big 10 match ups like the one being played this week between the #14 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0, 1-3 ATS) and the #20 Michigan State Spartans (3-1, 1-3 ATS) are tough to pass by. That’s because the Big 10 is full of fierce rivalries and a ton of closely matched, high quality teams.
For the Buckeyes, who aren’t bowl eligible, this season is all about playing for pride. They’re coming into East Lansing with an unbeaten record, but no ranked scalps on their belt. Beating the Spartans on the road would be a major statement for them.
Michigan State is a couple weeks off of a humiliating loss to Notre Dame and desperately needs a win if they’re hoping to stay in the top 25. This is a must-win game that could be tough to pull off.
Ohio St. vs Michigan St. Betting Lines: Point Spread, Money Line & Over/Under
Ohio State Buckeyes
Despite coming into this game with an unbeaten record, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer is less than pleased with his teams’ on field performance. They’ve missed tackles, committed dumb penalties, and are one of the sloppiest big time teams out there (certainly the sloppiest undefeated team.)
Last week, Ohio State barely escaped a meeting with the UAB Blazers (0-3, 1-2 ATS) winning 29-15. Struggling against the Blazers at home is a sign of a team that lacks that something special.
The Buckeyes have a chance to pull their act together this week and make a serious statement about where they’re heading. But if they bring the same game to East Lansing that they showed off in Columbus last week, they’re in big trouble.
Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State is one of those programs that seems perpetually on the cusp of greatness, but can never really deliver the goods. While they’ve only got one loss this season, they struggled mightily against then #14 Boise State (2-1, 2-1 ATS) in week one, and failed to impress while beating the Eastern Michigan Eagles 23-7 (0-4, 1-3) last week.
Dropped passes are just part of the problem with the Spartans anemic offense. Their turnover margin is 5-2 against ranked teams and 7-6 when you throw in the unranked. Before waking up in the 4th quarter against Eastern Michigan, Michigan State had gone seven quarters without scoring a touchdown.
You can play like that against a nobody and still pull it together, but Ohio St. is big league and will punish them badly if that’s how they play this week.
Ohio State @ Michigan State Betting Predictions
The Buckeyes and Spartans met up twice last season with Ohio State coming out on top both times. We’d like to say this is a red-letter game, but both programs seem oddly lethargic this season. But no matter what the players are doing, the public is going to lean on this one heavily.
Michigan State vs. Ohio State Point Spread
Which one of these teams is going to get their act together first? That’s the question bettors need to ask themselves when handicapping this game. I like that the Buckeyes have performed well against decent, though unranked teams.
If Urban Meyer can’t motivate his team to get out in front of the Spartans, who are vulnerable at home, he might as well give up hope this season. Ohio State has covered their last six games as road dogs, and I think they’ll make it seven after this one. Ohio State is 4-1 straight up against Michigan State in their last five meetings in East Lansing, and 7-1 in their last 8 meetings overall. Ohio State is also 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 road games.
Michigan State is 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. After seeing how MSU performed against Boise and Notre Dame, I don’t like them giving up the points. Everything is pointing to an Ohio State victory, and although I’ve just put the hex on them, I’m taking Ohio St. and the points. At the time this article is being written, the best Ohio State point spread is +3 (-115) at BetOnline.com.
If you prefer, the best Michigan State point spread is -3 (+100) at Bovada.lv.
Ohio St. @ Michigan St. Money Line Pick
Spartan Stadium doesn’t seem to be offering much advantage to Michigan State this season (they’re 2-1 at home, but just barely beat Boise). The Buckeyes appear to be the better team, and if they leave the sloppy stuff at home they should be the straight up winners in this one.
I like getting plus money on Ohio State, but at the time this article is being written, there aren’t any Ohio St. vs. Michigan St. money lines available. BetOnline should have their money lines posted early on Friday, and Bovada will likely post late on Friday or early Saturday.
Michigan State vs Ohio State Over/Under Pick
As of Friday morning at 6:30am EST, BetOnline has the Ohio St. vs. Michigan St. over/under at 42 (-110). Visit BetOnline.com for the latest total.
Between the Spartans and Buckeyes the under has paid off five times this season, and I expect that trend to continue here. I’m sticking with the under and hoping these two continue to underwhelm.
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