College Football Picks: Ohio State vs. Michigan State

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 2:53 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 2:53 PM UTC

We finally get to see Ohio State and Michigan State play a top-ranked team, and it just so happens to be against each other in the Big Ten Championship Game. This could also make or brake Ohio State's National Title hopes, lets see what the college football odds say.
<p style="text-align:center"> <style type="text/css"><!-- br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;} --></style> <span style="font-size:13px;font-family:arial,sans,sans-serif;color:#000000;text-align:left"></span></p> <p>The showdown under the roof of Lucas Oil Stadium comes after a regular season that saw the Buckeyes and Spartans cruise to unbeaten conference marks to win division titles, each a victim perhaps of a down year for the Big Ten other than what OSU and MSU have accomplished. At stake is an automatic berth in a BCS Bowl Game that comes with the league crown, and perhaps a shot at the national title for <st1:place><st1:placename>Ohio</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>State</st1:placetype></st1:place>.</p> <img style="font-size:1em" src="/picks-pictures/buckeyespartanclash.jpg" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" alt="Image preview" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" /> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Kickoff in </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em">Indianapolis</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em"> is about a quarter past eight with FOX providing the broadcast.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">The Buckeyes are showing up as 5 point favorites on <a target="_blank" title="Live college football odds from SBR" href="/betting-odds/college-football/">SBR's live college football odds</a>, down a half from the opener, with what has been a steady 51.5 for the total.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">The Buckeyes and Spartans really aren't fierce football rivals, certainly not like they both are against the Michigan Wolverines.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">But this game could change that.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">Beginning next season, </span><st1:placename style="font-size:1em">Ohio</st1:placename><span style="font-size:1em"> </span><st1:placetype style="font-size:1em">State</st1:placetype><span style="font-size:1em"> and </span><st1:placename style="font-size:1em">Michigan</st1:placename><span style="font-size:1em"> </span><st1:placetype style="font-size:1em">State</st1:placetype><span style="font-size:1em"> will compete in the newly aligned East Division as the addition of Rutgers and </span><st1:state style="font-size:1em">Maryland</st1:state><span style="font-size:1em"> ends the Leaders-Legends setup.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">It is a series that has belonged to the Buckeyes, winners of 28 of 41 overall and eight of the last nine.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">Ohio State eked out a 17-16 win in East Lansing a year ago, the closest the Buckeyes came to a loss in 2012, and the final marked the fourth 'under' in the last five clashes.</span></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Will 25 Be Buckeyes' Lucky Number?</b></p> <p>Just before surviving <a target="_blank" title="Read our coverage and picks from this game" href="/college-football/free-picks/college-football-picks-ohio-state-vs-michigan-a-35321/">last week's scare vs. the Wolverines</a> in Ann Arbor, <st1:state>Ohio</st1:state> State head coach Urban Meyer was talking about what a flawed system the BCS was. But then <st1:city>Auburn</st1:city> shocked <st1:state>Alabama</st1:state> to throw a wrench in those works, and renew the Buckeyes' hopes to play for the National Championship.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Still, <a target="_blank" title="See what other bettors have to say about the possible BCS Title game teams" href="">24 straight wins isn't going to get it done</a> for No. 2 Ohio State (12-0 straight up, 6-5-1 against the spread), and even a 25th might not be enough if No. 3 Auburn puts on another show in the SEC Championship against No. 5 Missouri.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">Hell, I'm still not convinced the No. 4 Crimson Tide have played their way out of the picture.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">For all the talk about </span><st1:place style="font-size:1em"><st1:placename>Ohio</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>State</st1:placetype></st1:place><span style="font-size:1em"> having a weak schedule, the Buckeyes at least played a team still in the BCS top 25.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">That isn't the case for Michigan State (11-1 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) who battled two teams that were ranked at the time, Notre Dame and Michigan, but no longer part of that list.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Head coach Mark Dantonio can squawk all he wants about the Big Ten titlist deserving to be in the BCS Championship, but it ain't going to happen if MSU pulls off a mild upset.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">That lone loss to the Fighting Irish really sticks out for the No. 10 Spartans, who aren't putting enough offensive glitter into voters' eyes despite having the premier defense in the land.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em><span style="font-size:1em"><a target="_blank" title="Shop around for the best lines and odds" href="">Read up on sportsbook reviews before placing bets!</a></span></em></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Only One-Third Of Matchup Getting Attention</b></p> <p>One might think the entire game will be played with Braxton Miller and the OSU offense on the field against the incredible <st1:place><st1:placename>Michigan</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>State</st1:placetype></st1:place> defense. But while Miller and the Buckeyes are going to have to find a way through the MSU stop unit, which in turn has to figure out a way to stop the 6th-ranked offense in the country, it's but one third of the action that will decide the outcome.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Connor Cook and the Spartans are going to have to generate points, and not sit back waiting for the defense to once again limit an opponent to six points or less, something that side of the ball has done five of the last six weeks.</span><st1:place style="font-size:1em"><st1:placename> Ohio</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>State</st1:placetype></st1:place><span style="font-size:1em">'s defense isn't chopped liver, and the MSU offensive line is going to have to win that trench battle as much if not more than on the defensive side.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Weather obviously isn't going to be an issue being indoors, a good thing for the fans since it's going to be in the low-20s for the start of the game.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">But one thing to keep in mind is the artificial turf; both teams practice on FieldTurf, so it won't be brand new, but the consensus is it should give </span><st1:place style="font-size:1em"><st1:placename>Ohio</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>State</st1:placetype></st1:place><span style="font-size:1em"> a slight advantage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Not that </span><st1:place style="font-size:1em"><st1:placename>Ohio</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>State</st1:placetype></st1:place><span style="font-size:1em"> needed an extra advantage.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">Meyer will have them ready, and Miller will execute, it's that simple when it comes to my free <a target="_blank" title="Free college football picks from SBR" href="/college-football/">college football pick</a> for this affair.</span></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">My picks:</b><span style="font-size:1em"> </span><st1:place style="font-size:1em"><st1:placename>Ohio</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>State</st1:placetype></st1:place><span style="font-size:1em"> -5</span></p> <p> <b>Season:</b> 26-13 (+11.7); 7 picks pending</p> <p>[gameodds]6/251562/?r3=43-19-349/dec&amp;r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]</p>
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