Profitable Michigan State vs. Nebraska Week 10 College Football Picks

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 7:43 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 7:43 PM UTC

No. 6 Michigan State faces a potentially dangerous and wounded Nebraska team on Saturday. Who is the best team against the college football odds in this intense matchup.

Sparty Has Lofty Goals
Michigan State still controls its own destiny to win the Big Ten title and reach the College Football Playoff; those rankings were due out later Tuesday and surely MSU won't be outside the Top 6 with quality wins over Oregon (if not as quality as past years) and Michigan.

The Spartans were on a needed bye last week. They are so banged up that Coach Mark Dantonio, for the first time in his career, didn't have his team practice once during the bye week. He was too afraid of more injuries. Dantonio thinks that All-American center Jack Allen will back this week, marking the first time the starting offensive line would be intact since Week 2 against Oregon. Also expected back are tailback Madre London and cornerback Darian Hicks. All three of those players were injured at Rutgers on Oct. 10.

MSU (8-0, 4-0) last took the field in a potential trap game vs. Indiana on Oct. 24 off Sparty's  unbelievable final-play win over Michigan the week before. Michigan State did struggle for a while with the Hoosiers as it was ahead only 28-26 entering the fourth quarter before pulling away for a 52-26 victory. Connor Cook had his best game of the season with 398  yards passing and four TDs. That former total was two shy of the school record of 400 set by Bill Burke in 1999.

Michigan State has won 12 in a row for the first time since 1956. That ties the third-longest winning streak in school history. The Spartans are 2-6 on college football odds and 4-4 'over/under.'


Huskers In Dire Straits
If there's such a thing as rock bottom for the once-storied Nebraska football program, it happened last week in a 55-45 loss at a Purdue team that had one Big Ten win overall since Darrell Hazell took over the program in the 2013 season. I previewed that game here at SBR and actually recommended taking Purdue and the points if Huskers starting QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. didn't play due to injury as he was questionable. Armstrong didn't, but obviously that didn't hurt the offense much as it scored 45 points. Giving up 55 to sorry Purdue is unthinkable, although the Boilermakers scored 28 points off Nebraska turnovers, four of them interceptions.

First-year head coach Mike Riley already is under fire, to the point that athletic director Shawn Eichorst had to publicly back him on Monday. No way Eichorst can fire Riley  after one season because Eichorst hired the guy.

At 3-6, the Huskers have lost more games before November than any season in school history and have to win out to avoid missing a bowl game for only the third time in the past 48 years. Armstrong is expected to return this week from his foot injury. The junior, who ranks second in the Big Ten with 2,052 passing yards, started 22 consecutive games before last week. Running back Terrell Newby (ankle) and receiver Brandon Reilly (toe) are questionable for this game. Receiver/returner De’Mornay Pierson-El is out for the year with torn knee ligaments and a leg fracture.

It should be noted that Nebraska has won 16 straight night games at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers are 4-5 ATS on college football picks and 6-3 O/U.


Last Meeting
No. 19 Nebraska visited the No. 10 Spartans on Oct. 4, 2014, and Michigan State won 27-22. It shouldn't have been that close as Sparty had a 27-3 lead entering the fourth quarter. Former Spartans cornerback Trae Waynes intercepted Armstrong's pass with 30 seconds left to seal the win. The Cornhuskers didn't score in the first half despite three Michigan State turnovers in its own territory. But NU scored three times in less than nine minutes in the fourth to make things interesting. Armstrong was 20-for-43 for 273 yards and two interceptions while rushing 11 times for seven yards. Cook was 11-for-29 for 234 yards, a TD and a pick. Jeremy Langford, now with the Chicago Bears, rushed 29 times for 111 yards and a TD. When the teams last met in Lincoln in 2013, Sparty won 41-28. The Huskers turned it over five times.


Final Analysis
Give the points, go 'over' the total in this game. MSU is 7-2 ATS in its past nine November games. Nebraska is 0-4 ATS in its past four at home vs. teams with a winning road record. The 'over' is 4-1 in the Spartans' past five on the road. The 'over' is 8-3 in Nebraska's past 11 overall.

College Football Pick: Michigan State -5 & Over 58 at Bet365

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