NCAAF Underdog Pick of the Week: Nebraska vs. Michigan State

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, October 2, 2014 12:53 PM GMT

Tune in for another edition of the Underdog of the Week with handicapper Joe G. This time around our capper takes a look at the betting odds for Nebraska vs. Michigan State, find out where the best value lies for our College Football picks.

The success of the Underdog of the Week by this bureau continues. With the Arkansas ATS victory vs. Texas A&M last week, the Underdog of the Week is now 5-0 ATS. Though the Hogs did not get the straight-up victory (led most of the game), as had our previous 4 double-digit dogs, they were a virtual guaranteed winner once the game went to OT. This week’s selection is yet again a touchdown underdog, whom I feel can win the game outright. 

Take a Look at the Dangerous Dogs for Your Week 4 College Football Picks!

Anyone who has followed the recent surge of Michigan St. understands the ascent of this program is for real. A 13-1 SU, 9-4 ATS 2013 season was punctuated with a 24-20 victory over Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Under 8th year HC Dantonio, the Spartans are succeeding with a staunch defense, a dominant ground attack that is balanced by an equally successful passing game. For the season, the Spartans are averaging 50 PPG on 515 YPG. The balance is most impressive with Sparty running and passing for 252 or more yards per game. Again, the defense is the heart and soul of the team. They allowed just 78/2.8 overland and an average of just 289 YPG. A closer inspection of the schedule, however, points to the fact those numbers were largely achieved against the likes of Jackson St., E. Michigan, and Wyoming. Last week, in a 56-14 final over the Cowboys, Sparty had a 533-286 yardage advantage and profited from +3 TOs. That is all very impressive until one reviews their performance in their only step-up game to date. On September 6th, Michigan St. traveled to Oregon to face the high-powered attack of the Ducks. A 46-27 loss saw Oregon amass 491 yards and dominate the 4th quarter of the game.

 

Enter Nebraska who has done little wrong in a 5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS start. The last three of those victories have been against “real” teams like Fresno St., Miami, FL, and Illinois. Behind the offensive tandem of QB Armstrong and RB Abdullah, the Cornhuskers present the same type of threat as that offered by Oregon. Against a better brand of competition, Nebraska is averaging 45 PPG on 573 YPG. The 355/6.9 running game is balanced by 218/8.8 through the airways. But the biggest difference in this Nebraska team is an improved defensive front allowing just 108/3.6.

 

In an early season battle for Big 10 supremacy, we must not discount the 41-28 revenge motive from last year in which Nebraska outgained Michigan St. 392-361, but committed 5 critical TOs. Nor can we ignore the inverted home/road dichotomy of these two which finds Nebraska to be 5-1 ATS away of late, 3-1 ATS as dog last year, while Michigan St. enters this contest with a recent 4-11 ATS mark as home chalk. Our 5th outright underdog upset with Nebraska is no surprise to this bureau. Add them to your College Football picks.

College Football Pick: Nebraska -7

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