NCAA Football Betting - Notre Dame vs. Michigan State

Michigan State (10) will be playing host this weekend to Notre Dame (20) in East Lansing, Michigan; weather is expected to be warm with a 30% chance of rain. This match-up is sure to shake up the BCS standings and will help to define the strength of each team. Each team has a 2-0 record, Notre Dame has won on the road this season and Michigan State has won at home. This game will be televised on ABC.

Last week Michigan State blew away Central Michigan 41-7; Central Michigan’s single TD did not come until 1:39 left in the fourth quarter. Michigan State Spartan QB Andrew Maxwell threw for 275 yards with a 160.3 rating, and 2 TDs. This gives him a season total of 523 yards, a 125.4 rating, and 2 TDs; he also has 3 interceptions. Yep that’s correct, 2 TDs; and therein lays the trouble for the Spartans. While Maxwell had 248 passing yards in Week One against Boise State(24), he had zero touchdown passes. The Spartans beat Boise State 17-13, where the offense ran in two touchdowns and a field goal was completed to round out the scoring. Le’Veon Bell (250lbs) did a great job of running the football in Michigan State’s two previous games. The highlight of the Spartan offense is that they can score with either the run or the pass once they’ve gotten deep in the opponent’s own end after solid drives. Defensively the Spartans have three interceptions on the season and they have a fantastic points-against ranking.

Notre Dame, like Michigan State, has won by a large margin and a small margin this season. In Week One the Fighting Irish defeat Eastern Kentucky 48-6 and last week they beat 20-17. Notre Dame QB Everett Golson was very strong against Purdue throwing for 289 yards, 1 TD and a 156.7 rating. On the season he is 433 yards, 2 TDs and a 151 rating; 1 interception. In the battle of the QBs Notre Dame wins hands down for Golson’s consistent QB rating and low interception rate. Also, Notre Dame has back-up Tommy Rees who was their go-to-guy for their game winning drive with two minutes left against Purdue. What should be a concern for Notre Dame is that Golson was sacked 5 times against Purdue and once against Eastern Kentucky. Going up against an even better team this week one has to wonder if Notre Dame can resolve this problem. Fortunately the Spartans have yet to post a sack but certainly are not impotent. Instead the Spartan’s greatest strength is against the pass.

Really we are looking at a battle of the defense. Notre Dame’s defense can be tough on the run but Michigan State has the talent to subdue Notre Dame’s great QBs. Edge here should go to Michigan State’s higher ranked, and better tested, defense. Notre Dame will really have proven something if they can shut down Le’Veon Bell who popped up on the Heisman Trophy radar this week after playing so well in Week One and Two.

The over/under for this game is 43.5 points while the point spread is 5 points; Michigan State is the favorite. The over/under seems high here as neither team scored over 20 points against competitive opponents. The spread is probably pretty good although Michigan State’s offense is so multi-faceted that picking Michigan to cover the spread would be wise. This will be a great game, edge to Michigan State.

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