Michigan State hosts Purdue, opening the Big 10 season for both squads. The Spartans are big favorites on the College Football Odds board. Can they be trusted with our pick?
Purdue visits Michigan St. for the BIG 10 opener for each team. The Spartans have been playing possum in the month of September, as 9th year HC Dantonio has played it close to the vest the entire month. Now that BIG 10 action has started and with only a trip to unrespected Rutgers next week (Sparty beat the Knights 45-3 last season), Michigan St. will be my college footbal pick for the Blowout of the Week. Last week in this space, we used GA Southern (-16) as our Blowout of the Week over Idaho. The Eagles responded with a Kibbie Dome blowout victory of 44-20. They “Vandalized” Idaho with a 441-111 overland advantage. It is important to pay attention to these “name games of the week,” witness my record at 14-3-1 ATS L3Y on the combination of NCAAF and NFL.
Purdue has begun the season at 1-3 SU ATS with a (-24) AFP. Among the defeats was a loss to MAC entry, Bowling Green, last week by a score of 35-28. Note that, in that defeat Bowling Green had 539 yards of offense. In my article on this site last week entitled “The Little Engine that Could,” I noted the excellence of MAC teams in September play. That played to form, as last week, the MAC went 5-0 ATS against their Big 10 brethren, running their record to 10-2 ATS for the season (83%). If Purdue can allow a MAC team to beat them at home, giving up 539 yards, just imagine the potential for one of the best teams in the land. Remember that this is a Purdue team, who the week before, was outgained by VA Tech (who just lost to E. Carolina) 471-265 in a 51-24 loss.
It is clear that Michigan St. was pointing to one game in the month of September. That was their 31-28 home revenge victory against Oregon. Other than that, Dantonio showed very little to the opposition, resulting in a 0-4 ATS mark in which they failed to cover by 26 points. Included in the slate was a lethargic performance against W. Michigan, followed by 2 weeks of letdown following that Oregon win vs. Air Force and C. Michigan. Last week, Michigan St. actually lost the total yardage stats (340-324). More telling is their 181-55 overland edge, as they prepared for the BIG 10 season ahead.
The bottom line here is that due to the 0-4 ATS record of Michigan St., we have a line that is 4 points less than where it would have been in Week 1. Look for Michigan St., playing at home in their first conference game of the season, to turn it loose and easily outdistance a Purdue team headed to the BIG 10 basement by at least 4 TDs. Make Michigan St. the College football odds on favorite at a value price in my early week College Football PICK as blowout of the week.
College Football Pick: Michigan State -21.5 (-106) at Pinnacle