(4-0, 1-3 ATS)
Michigan State Spartans
(4-0, 2-2 ATS)
A pair of 4-0 teams that are going to try to make a great push at the National Championship lock horns in East Lansing on Saturday afternoon, as the Michigan State Spartans try to take out the Wisconsin Badgers in NCAA football betting action.
The Badgers had three fairly ho hum games offensively this year before exploding for a season high 70 last week against the Austin Peay Governors. Wisconsin now has very respectable offensive numbers for the season, as was expected when QB Scott Tolzien and RB John Clay both came back to the team. Clay has 501 yards on the ground and six scores this year to pace the team and make him a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. Tolzien has completed a whopping 76.2 percent of his passes for 851 yards, an average of 10.1 yards per attempt. If he can keep that average going, a relatively modest 5/2 TD/INT ratio can be ignored. It can all be forgotten about if the defense keeps up like this. The ‘D’ just keeps getting better and better for head coach Frank Bielema, as the unit has progressed quite a bit from the one that allowed the lowly UNLV Rebels to account for 21 points. Wisconsin is averaging allowing just 265.2 yards per game this year, and it ranks in the Top 30 in every major defensive category. If it can survive this game, there is no reason not to be 6-0 going into the duels with Ohio State and Iowa on October 16th and 23rd respectively.
Two weeks ago, HC Mark Dantonio showed just how much fortitude he really had when he called the fake field goal that later came to be known as “Little Giants” that won the game at home against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. However, he had a heart attack that night and ended up not coaching last week’s triumph over Northern Colorado. Dantonio is back just in the nick of time, as his Spartans could use all the help they can get against this fantastic Top 10 foe. RBs Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell are going to act as battering rams all game long for the Spartans in this one, but there is a big question how they are going to fare going up against their toughest defensive challenge to date. Baker leads the team with 449 yards and five TDs, while Bell is also on pace for a 1,000 yard season, as he has 396 yards and seven scores. All of this has made life relatively easy on QB Kirk Cousins, who has thrown for 863 yards and six scores against just two picks on the year. The defense has played well this year, but when push has come to shove, the one big duel against Notre Dame watched the Spartans allow 31 points.
We tend to think that MSU’s ‘D’ is just a tad outmatched in this game. Tolzien and Clay are both superstars, and though we know that the Spartans can run the ball, we aren’t so sure that they can do so against a defense that ranks in the Top 25 almost every single season against the rush. It’s a tough call, but we’re going to go with the Badgers to buck the Spartans from the Top 25.
Selection: Wisconsin Badgers -2