The Michigan State-Ohio State betting line had the Buckeyes at -3. Spread action on this game was relatively balanced.
Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Ohio State -3 & 44
Opening Line & Total: OSU -3 & 44
Michigan State tries to beat Ohio State for the first time this century when the Big Ten rivals clash in Columbus.
The Buckeyes have dominated this series recently, winning the past seven meetings by a combined score of 234 to 110 (17.7 PPG). Although OSU will likely start freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, the key to this game is rushing the football and the Buckeyes have a much superior ground game. OSU has gained 184 YPG on 4.4 YPC, while MSU (which has played a far weaker schedule), has 143 YPG on 3.7 YPC. Since 2009, OSU is 15-3 ATS (17-1 SU) at The Horseshoe.
In addition to Notre Dame, Michigan State has played Youngstown State, Florida Atlantic and Central Michigan this year. These three cupcakes are a big reason the Spartans lead the nation in total defense (172 YPG). QB Kirk Cousins hasn’t had to do too much throwing with all the big leads, but he has been solid. Cousins has completed 69% of his passes for 947 yards (8.1 YPA), 5 TD and 2 INT. The senior actually faced Ohio State when the teams last met in 2008. He replaced an ineffective Brian Hoyer and managed to complete 18-of-25 passes for 161 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in a 45-7 blowout loss. Le’Veon Bell scored three rushing TD in last week’s 45-7 pounding of CMU, giving him six scores this year. The Spartans also lead the nation in pass defense (101 YPG) and are 12th in turnover margin (+1.25 per game).
Ohio State freshman QB Braxton Miller expects to start again after rushing for 83 yards on 17 carries, and going 5-of-13 for 83 yards and 2 TD in a 37-17 win over Colorado last week. The Buckeyes will still be without suspended stars RB Dan Herron and WR DeVier Posey for one more game, but RB Carlos Hyde (263 rushing yards, 3 TD), WR Devin Smith (183 receiving yards, 3 TD) and TE Jake Stoneburner (93 receiving yards, 4 TD) have all stepped up their games to compensate. The Buckeyes defense has been solid in all facets. They rank 16th in total defense (276 YPG), 18th in scoring defense (15.8 PPG) and are averaging 2.5 sacks per game.
- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter