Bet 'Under' for Ohio St. vs. Michigan St. College Football Picks

Darin Zank

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 7:43 PM GMT

Since Coach Meyer took over at Ohio State his Buckeyes have split two tough games SU and ATS with Michigan State and Coach Dantonio. In a big one in the Big Ten 7-1 OSU and 7-1 MSU get it on Saturday night in East Lansing.

Buckeyes-Spartans Betting Odds
This game has seen some line movement on both the spread and the total. College football odds opened Michigan State at as low as -1.5, some as high as -3. As of Wednesday morning most shops were listing the Spartans at -3.5.

Also, some books opened the total on this game at as high as 63, but as of Wednesday AM that figure had dropped as much as five points, down to 58.

Bettors who believe the Buckeyes might win this game outright could get a price of +146 on the moneyline at Pinnacle.

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Buckeyes-Spartans: The Situation
Defending Big Ten champion Michigan State went off this season getting around 3/1 to repeat as conference champs, with a wins OVER/UNDER of 9.5. Heading into Saturday the Spartans are tied for first place in the Big Ten East, and need three wins in their last four games to play OVER their total.

Michigan State opened this season with a 45-7 victory over Jacksonville State, but then took a chance with a road trip to Oregon and lost 46-27. But since then the Spartans have won six games in a row, going 4-2 ATS. They're also 4-0 SU and 2-2 in Big Ten play, with a 27-22 win over Nebraska that wasn't as close as that score might indicate, a 45-31 victory at Purdue, a 56-17 win at Indiana and a 35-11 victory over Michigan.

On the other side of this match-up Ohio State went off this season getting around 4/1 to win the Big Ten championship, with a wins OVER/UNDER of 9.5. Heading into this game the Buckeyes are also tied for first place in the Big Ten East, and also need three wins in their last four games to go OVER their total.

Ohio State began this season with a 34-17 victory over Navy, but then got upset at home by Virginia Tech 35-21, losing straight-up as a 10-point favorite. Since then, though, as quarterback JT Barrett has improved, the Buckeyes have won six games in a row, going 5-1 ATS. They're also 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in Big Ten play, with a 52-24 win at Maryland, a 56-17 victory over Rutgers, a 31-24 overtime victory at Penn State and a 55-14 romp over Illinois.

Big-picture, these two teams are tied atop the Big Ten East at 4-0, two losses clear of third-place Maryland. So this game will probably decide a berth in the conference championship game.

 

Buckeyes-Spartans Recent History
These teams have split their last two games; two years ago Ohio State pulled a minor upset in East Lansing, beating the Spartans 17-16 as a two-point underdog, but last year, in the Big Ten championship game, Michigan State returned the favor with a 34-24 victory as a five-point dog.

The Spartans jumped out to a 17-0 lead in last year's meeting, allowed the Buckeyes to rally and take a 24-17 advantage, then scored the last 17 points of the game for the victory, giving Sparty his first outright Big Ten championship since 1987.

Ohio State outrushed Michigan State last year 273-134, but the Spartans outgained the Buckeyes 438-374.

 

Buckeyes-Spartans Betting Trends
Ohio State is 2-0 both SU and ATS as an underdog under Coach Meyer.

As crazy as this sounds these two teams are a combined 14-2 on the totals this season.

As of earlier this week 5Dimes was offering Michigan State at +1000, Ohio State at +1300 on its updated national championship betting board.

 

Injury Update
Ohio State QB Barrett, a red-shirt freshman, is dealing with a sore knee, which may limit his mobility. Not only has Barrett blossomed since a slow start after taking over for Miller, throwing 23 touchdown passes against seven interceptions, he's also run for almost 500 yards and six scores. But maneuvering with a brace on one knee on what could be a slick/soggy/thick field against a stout Michigan State defense might be a tough task.

 

Buckeyes-Spartans Free NCAAF Pick
To begin, the weather may play a factor in this game. Forecasts call for temps in the low 40s for Saturday night in East Lansing, with 15 MPH winds and a 50 percent chance of rain. The team that can run the ball, stop the run and limit the mistakes will stand a good chance of winning this game. But then again, isn't that always the case?

To be honest, we're not sure who's going to win this game. Two years ago these teams played a one-point game, and last year's Big Ten title bout was 27-24 when the Spartans iced it on a Jeremy Langford TD run with two minutes to go. Saturday night's game looks like it will be a close one, too.

But in thinking this game will be more like the meeting of two years ago than last year's contest, in which the teams combined for over 800 yards of offense, we like the UNDER for your college football picks.

Free College Football Pick: UNDER 58.5 at Pinnacle