NCAA Football Betting - Ohio State vs. Michigan State

Ohio State (#14) at Michigan State (#20) may be one of the most anticipated games of the week. This is a Big Ten matchup with Ohio State yet to play a division game while the Spartans also have yet to play within the Big Ten. Ohio State has the higher ranking and better record but is actually the underdog coming into Saturday’s game. Ohio State is 4-0 and Michigan State is 3-1.

Neither team has been playing very well on offense or defense. Each team had larger expectations for itself than it has lived up to and the story seems to be about mistakes not lack of talent. The numbers say that Michigan should win this game. Michigan has averaged fewer points on offense this season, 21 points; but has allowed fewer points, 11.8. Ohio State has averaged 37.8 points and allowed an average of 17.3 points. This is Ohio State’s first game on the road and Michigan State has only lost one at home to Notre Dame. Michigan State’s defense is currently ranked 11th in the country. Ohio’s offense is ranked 25th in the country. In every other category these two teams are roughly equal except in points scored which could likely be attributed to the fact that Michigan State played Boise State and Notre Dame while Ohio State has not played against a strong defense as of yet.

Ohio State has something special on offense in quarterback Braxton Miller. Miller is Ohio State’s number one QB and their top rusher. This season he has thrown for 754 yards and 7 TDs. On the ground he has earned 441 yards on 67 carries. Michigan State’s defense will have to be good to slow Miller. However, Ohio State’s reliance on Miller may end up being a crutch if they cannot find an alternative means to run the ball. Ohio State’s running back Jordan Hall has 192 yards on 34 carries and no TDs. Ohio State will likely return running back Carlos Hyde from a sprained knee giving Ohio State another option.

Michigan State has its own offensive weapons. Spartan QB Andrew Maxwell has thrown for 869 yards on 143 attempts, with 3 TDs. Michigan State running back, Le’veon Bell, has rushed for 610 yards on 117 carries with 5 TDs. Michigan State has four receivers over 100 yards on the season. Again, the numbers favor Michigan State to win this game.

The point spread is 3 points. Michigan State has had an average spread of over 17 points a game. Ohio State has averaged a spread of just over 20 points. Both teams have had close games against better opponents. There is no great point of comparison to make anyone think this will not be a close game. However, Michigan State should win this game but there is good reason to think it will be by more than 3 points. Michigan by the numbers looks better than a 3 point win, probably by a touchdown.

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