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Michigan State vs. Ohio State Free Pick

Arguably the game of the day Saturday in college football is in East Lansing as Michigan State hosts Ohio State in the Big Ten opener for both. Sparty is a 2.5-point favorite on WagerWeb.com.

ESPN College GameDay returns to the Michigan State campus for the second year in a row, as the broadcast crew witnessed from the sidelines Kirk Cousins’ 44-yard Hail Mary pass to Keith Nichol on the final play of regulation to give the 15th-ranked Spartans a 37-31 victory over No. 4 Wisconsin. The Spartans are 2-3 when GameDay visits East Lansing (1997: lost to Michigan, 23-7; 1999: defeated Michigan, 34-31; 2004: lost to Notre Dame, 31-24; 2005: lost to Penn State, 31-22; and 2011: defeated Wisconsin, 37-31). 

Both Ohio State and Michigan State enter off less-than-impressive efforts. OSU, one of only three remaining Big Ten teams without a loss, beat UAB 29-15. QB Braxton Miller only passed for 143 yards but accounted for both of OSU’s TDs with his feet. Miller completed 12 of 20 passes for 143 yards and rushed for 64 yards on 11 carries. Jordan Hall gained 105 yards on 17 carries.

UAB more than held its own against the Buckeyes (4-0), who committed drive-killing penalties, had a punt blocked for a touchdown and had trouble scoring against a defense that gave up 44 points and 477 yards in its first two games. Ohio State was a 37-point favorite against UAB, which had lost at home to in-state rival Troy 39-29 in its opener and then been pounded 49-6 by No. 8 South Carolina a week ago.

Michigan State (3-1) beat Eastern Michigan 23-7.  Le’Veon Bell rushed for a career-high 253 yards and a touchdown but Michigan State struggled to put away winless EMU. Dan Conroy kicked three field goals for the Spartans, who had failed to score a TD for more than seven quarters before Andrew Maxwell hit tight end Dion Sims on a 10-yard pass with 7:19 left. Maxwell was 16-for-29 for 159 yards and wasn’t sacked or intercepted. But Michigan State struggled mightily until he finally found Sims three times for 73 yards in the fourth quarter.

Ohio State hasn’t played at Spartan Stadium since the 2008 season. The teams did not play in either 2009 or 2010. Last year Michigan State snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series with a 10-7 win in Ohio Stadium. This is Ohio State’s fi rst game on grass this year.   Ohio State was 0-3 on grass fields in 2011 (losses at Miami, Purdue and Florida at the Gator Bowl). Ohio State is 70-24-4 in Big Ten openers.

WagerWeb.com trends: Buckeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Buckeyes are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win. Spartans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win. Spartans are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Buckeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Michigan State. Favorite is 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 meetings. Buckeyes are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings. Road team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

SBA: We are going against the trends in this one. Michigan State has a fantastic offensive line and running back. Were they overrated to start the year, yes. But, now they are right where they like to be and that is not being the heavy favorite. We like  Michigan State here and may as well take the money line to secure the betting win.

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Friday, September 28th, 2012 College Football 2012

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