Michigan State Spartans vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish - ​Week 3 College Football Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, September 15, 2016 10:28 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016 10:28 PM UTC

I assure you that, if you follow the advice embedded in my analyses this season, you will have a better chance to succeed in the point spread wars. Always remember to shop for value when selecting you NCAAF picks.  

Michigan State Spartans vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Each week on these pages, I will select a CFB team who is an underdog of 7 or more points. Not only do I believe this team will cover the point spread, but I believe this team has a good chance to win the game outright. Yet, I must admit I am a bit fearful of this selection, as it has become popular in the minds of both professional as well as public handicappers. Nonetheless, the thinking is clearly in our favor.

Revenge or dominance? That is the handicapper’s conundrum in this game, which has seen the Fighting Irish defeat Michigan St. the last 3 times they have played them. Admittedly, these teams have not met since 2013. But in the 3 matchups of the previous 3 years since that date with the same coaches at each school, the Fighting Irish have emerged with victories of 4, 17 and 18 points. Remember that in 2013 (the last time these teams met) it was the lone loss of the season for 10th year HC Dantonio and his Spartans. 

Since 2013, Sparty has been among the class of the CFB landscape with a record of 37-5 SU, the Spartans have been one of the top teams in the nation. The major concern this season is an offense that returns just 3 starters and must replace QB Cook with senior QB O’Connor. Results in game 1 were not encouraging. As 44 point favorite vs. Furman, Sparty could emerge with only a 28-13 victory, while gaining just 361 yards. But with an extra week to prepare, following that win, there is strong historical precedence that the Spartans, who have proven to be a quality entity in recent seasons, have an excellent chance to beat this spread. There is little doubt that the psychological edge would accrue to 10th year HC Dantonio, who has been a solid winner in revenge contests. This is also a preferred role for the Spartans under Dantonio, who are 9-2 ATS as road dog the previous 4 years. 

Notre Dame had a nice bounce back win on this field against Nevada last week (39-10) covering by a single point. Though they were a 200 Club winner, they could only show 444-300 yardage edge in that game. That on the heels of being outgained 517-444 on opening week Sunday Night football, in a dramatic (50-47) OT loss to an avenging Texas Longhorn. In their 2nd big test of the year, behind now established QB Kizer, do the Irish have enough to win this by a margin. Historically, although Notre Dame was 5-1 ATS as home chalk last year, the answer is a resounding “NO” because the Fighting Irish are perennially one of the most overpriced teams on the weekly card.  


Fina Analysis
The triple revenge motive for Michigan St. with a week to prepare and a strong historical mark in this role make it tough to ignore the Spartans in the role of BIG DOG this week. I invite you to put the college football odds in your favor and join me in my college football pick on Michigan St.!


Free NCAAF Picks: Michigan State
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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