College Football Betting - Spartans A Stellar Upset Pick Over Notre Dame

Michigan Spartans At The Sidelines

Jason Lake

Thursday, September 15, 2016 8:31 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016 8:31 PM GMT

The Michigan State Spartans are ahead of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the polls, but the betting public will be loading up on Notre Dame with their football picks.

Something's not quite right here. The Michigan State Spartans are No. 12 on the AP poll after two weeks of college football – well, one week in their case. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are No. 18. Yet it's Notre Dame laying eight points at home to Michigan on our NCAAF odds board for Saturday's matchup (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC). Interesting.

Wait, it gets better. The Irish opened at –7.5, but they're getting chalkier even though our consensus reports show two-thirds of early bettors on Sparty. This can only mean two things: one, most of the early action (in terms of raw dollars) is at Notre Dame, and/or two, online sportsbooks are preparing for a flood of public money on the Irish. We're guessing it's more of the second, which will make Michigan State an even stronger NCAAF pick on game day.


Ed Zeppelin
The Spartans (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) definitely look like the sharp pick from where we're standing. They didn't get the job done in their season opener, a 28-13 win over the Furman Paladins (+37.5 away) from the FCS. But Michigan State took last week off, and senior LB Ed Davis is expected to play Saturday after he missed last year with knee and shoulder injuries and was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

It's also safe to say that Notre Dame (1-1 SU and ATS) is the public pick in this matchup. The Fighting Irish are one of the most storied teams in all of the sports, and a quick look at the public money charts shows them in eighth place after two games. That 50-47 overtime loss to the Texas Longhorns (+3.5 away) in Week 1 didn't stop recreational bettors from loading up in Week 2 – and they almost got hosed again, but Notre Dame avoided the matador cover in a 39-10 victory against the Nevada Wolf Pack (+27.5 away).


Corner Gas
Furthering the sharp public divide, we've got an MSU team known for its defense facing a Notre Dame squad led by Heisman Trophy candidate DeShone Kizer at quarterback. But let's not forget about Spartans QB Tyler O'Connor. He was at the controls for last year's 17-14 upset over the Ohio State Buckeyes (–14.5 at home), and he's the starter this year now that Connor Cook has moved on to the NFL.

O'Connor's job will be a bit easier on Saturday with CB Nick Coleman pressed into service after Shaun Crawford tore his left Achilles in the first quarter against Nevada. The Notre Dame secondary is already under pressure following injuries to Nick Watkins (arm) and Devin Butler (foot). We're content to recommend Sparty against the spread, but if you want to go the extra yard and take them on the money line, go nuts. Just wait until closer to kick-off and see if you can get a better price than +270. All signs point to yes.

Free NCAAF Pick: Michigan State +8 (–105)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
Record: 3-3 ATS

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