Michigan State Spartans
(8-0, 6-2 ATS)
(5-2, 4-3 ATS)
The Michigan State Spartans appear to be a blessed team right now, and the only thing that might be standing between them and an undefeated regular season might just be this weekend’s college football betting battle against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
MSU has now proven that it can come from behind in a game if need be as well. Last week, the Spartans were facing a 17 point hole against the Northwestern Wildcats and used the passing game, not the power running game that we have come to know and love, to fight back and post a win and a cover in Evanston. The Spartans might be known for that smash mouth game, but don’t let them fool you. QB Kirk Cousins can throw the pill around the field as well. Cousins has thrown for 1,948 yards and 14 scores against four picks, and as was proven last week, both WR Mark Dell and WR BJ Cunningham have the ability to have huge games as well. The ball still belongs to RB Edwin Baker and RB Le’Veon Bell though, and in what should be a very physical game, they are going to be key. Bell was held to just 12 yards on eight carries last week, but these two men are both still averaging over six yards per carry on the year. A suspect defense will be tested in a big way as well, as Sparty is allowing 213.5 passing yards per game, only good enough to be ranked No. 62 in the country.
Iowa already has one loss in conference play this year, and as long as the Wisconsin Badgers get picked off by someone else at some point, the Hawkeyes still control their own destiny for the Rose Bowl. This is something that HC Kirk Ferentz must be preaching to his team. QB Ricky Stanzi finally lost his first game at Kinnick Stadium as a starting quarterback in a game that he finished last week against the Wisconsin Badgers. This was the second straight week in which the defense really let the offense down, as scoring 30 points in a game should really be enough to beat anyone in the country when you have a ‘D’ that is this good. The Hawkeyes still rank No. 13 in the nation in total defense at 297.1 yards per game, though both the Badgers and the Michigan Wolverines have tested those numbers in recent weeks. A scoring average of 15.7 points per game allowed is still second best in the Big Ten, and that is something that should not be forgotten.
It’s so hard to lay a touchdown against Michigan State the way that it is playing right now, but in spite of the numbers next to the teams’ names, we just don’t believe that the Spartans have the better team, and we don’t even think it’s quite frankly that close. Iowa knows what it is like to feel like a blessed team. It also knows what it’s like to catch one terrible break in the biggest game of the year. The Spartans will get knocked from the ranks of the unbeatens in what could be a wild Saturday.
College Football Free Pick: Iowa Hawkeyes -6.5