Spartans Launch Physical Warfare In Redbox Bowl Against Oregon

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 6:20 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 6:20 PM UTC

Get the latest college football picks on the Redbox Bowl between Oregon and Michigan State. The game from Santa Clara, California is on Monday, December 31 at 3 p.m. on FOX. Bet confidently with tips from

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" rel="nofollow" title="Live Game Odds">Redbox Bowl: Oregon (8-4 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs Michigan State (7-5 SU, 4-8 ATS)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Monday, Dec. 31, 3 p.m. ET (FOX)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NCAAF Pick: Spartans ATS and ML</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href="https://;book=5dimes" rel="nofollow" title="Top-Rated Sportsbook">5Dimes</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3690886, "sportsbooksIds":[19,169,1602,1096,999996], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3690886, "sportsbooksIds":[19,169,1602,1096,999996], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Oregon will try to end a five-year drought without a bowl win in what could be quarterback Justin Herbert’s final game. Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio gets his team to thrive when everybody expects it to lose. Under Dantonio, MSU has won and covered four of its last five bowl games, winning three of them as underdogs. The one exception was against Alabama.</p><h2><strong>How They Got Here</strong></h2><p>Oregon’s biggest win came at home against eventual Pac-12 champion Washington. The offense suffered an identity crisis under first-year coach Mario Cristobal, who is trying to fuse the tempo of old Oregon teams with his own preference for power running. As a result, the offense was inconsistent and sputtered for long phases at Washington State and Arizona, against both of which it failed to exceed 20 points and lost. Michigan State suffered on offense due to injuries at quarterback, wide receiver, and the offensive line. Its big win came at Penn State, but it scored 22 points combined in its last three games, losing to Ohio State, Nebraska, and barely avoiding humiliation against Rutgers.</p><p>[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]</p><h2><strong>Why Oregon Can Win/Cover</strong></h2><p>The Ducks may not need to score much. The Spartans have failed to cover their last three games despite holding their opponents to combined 45 points. Conversely, Oregon ranks 22nd in averaging 34.9 points per game. Justin Herbert is an NFL-caliber quarterback. His numbers are down from last season when the Ducks executed a lot of verticals and he exploited soft coverage to hit receivers all over the field. This year, Cristobal’s offense has him throwing more often on the run. Sparty’s pass defense is its weakness and it will miss starting corner Justin Layne, maybe fellow starting corner Josiah Scott, and possibly backup Josh Butler. Herbert can connect well with receiver Dillon Mitchell, who leads Oregon with 69 receptions, 1,114 yards, and nine touchdowns. Michigan State is 1-5 ATS when allowing 20+ points.</p><p>[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]</p><h2><strong>Why Michigan State Can Win/Cover</strong></h2><p>MSU's elite defense ranks 12th in opposing points per game, allowing 18 on average. It held Penn State to 17 points at home and limited Ohio State to nine points through three quarters. Allowing 26 points to OSU was really impressive considering how MSU’s awful offense allowed OSU to accrue over 37 minutes of time of possession and enjoy repeatedly solid field position. MSU's strength is against the run. Oregon has the 53rd-highest run play percentage and it will get its starting left tackle back from injury. Oregon is 0-3 ATS when starter C.J. Verdell averages fewer than three YPC.</p><h2><strong>Common Opponent/Series History</strong></h2><p>Michigan State lost 16-13 to Arizona State in the 103-degree desert where Big 10 teams historically come to lose. Oregon survived at home against ASU after it led 28-13 at halftime and the offense disappeared in the second half.</p><h2><strong>The Verdict</strong></h2><p>Oregon’s offense suffers a wide disparity between its high ranking in plays per game and its low one in time of possession — the Ducks want to run tempo, but struggle to sustain drives. It ranks 50th in offensive scoring per drives (FEI) against FBS teams outside of garbage time. Oregon is in a weak conference where its strength of schedule ranks 65th nationally, 42 spots behind Michigan State's. It faced six teams that rank outside the top 80 in total defense plus an FCS team. It laid clunkers with long offensive ruts away from home and failed to run well against good defenses like Utah’s. Michigan State’s run defense has faced six teams that rank top-40 in YPC, eight that rank top-60. Sparty’s defense will keep Oregon one-dimensional, which is important because Oregon is 0-6 ATS when Herbert, who only has one good receiver, throws 33+ passes.</p><p>Sparty's offense will improve if quarterback Brian Lewerke is healthy. He can be efficient, although his numbers look poor because he often played through injury. The offense tends to succeed when he can scramble. Oregon hasn’t faced many scrambling quarterbacks, but it did concede over 100 rushing yards to Cal’s Brandon McIlwain. Running back L.J. Scott seeks to replicate last year’s awesome bowl performance. Oregon’s run D ranks 48th in opposing YPC, although seven of the 11 FBS schools it faced rank outside the top 60 in YPC. The whole receiving crew minus Felton Davis and starting offensive linemen should return from injury, which is bad news for an Oregon secondary that ranks 98th in opposing passer rating. Even at the beginning of the season, Michigan State only averaged 25 points per game, which wouldn’t rank it much higher in scoring than it does now. But 25 points will suffice to beat Oregon. Plus, it also struggled to score last year, <a href="" title="Check All Our Bowl Picks">but still put up 42 points in its bowl game against a highly-ranked Washington State defense.</a></p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" title="Read The Bowl's Trends, Betting History">Read About Redbox Bowl Trends and Betting History</a></h2>
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