Michigan State Spartans (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date and Time: Saturday, September 21, 3:30pm
Where: Notre Dame Stadium
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MSU +7/ND -7
Over/Under Total: 40.5
One game that seems to go under the radar each season is the Michigan
State and Notre Dame game. This season appears to be no different
since Michigan State is, well, Michigan State, and Notre Dame has lost some
of its luster since they have already suffered a loss. Notre Dame comes
into this game at 2-1 and ranked in the top 25 while Mich. St. is unranked
yet stands unbeaten at 3-0. As we speak, the line is at 7 points in favor
of Notre Dame and the over under at 40.5. This is a tough matchup as I see
it, let us take a moment to breakdown each of these teams.
Notre Dame was in the BCS title game last season, well, they were in it until kickoff, but with that said, they have only lost two games since opening kickoff last season. Yea, they have lost some talent on both sides of the ball including Manti Teo, a Heisman hopeful last season but they are still pretty talented in key areas. This Notre Dame team is very different though. Their defense is nowhere near as good as they were last season. So far in the 2013 campaign, the Irish arent even ranked in the top 50 of scoring defense while not even cracking the top 55 in scoring offense. Starting QB Tommy Reese has done pretty good so far tossing 7 TD passes and only 2 INTs to start the season. Through 3 games, he has almost surpassed the 1,000 yard mark as well. Not bad. Now, to the running game. Oh, well, there really isnt one. The Irishs leading rusher so far this season has only 148 yards on 30 carries. Not a bad average (4.9 per carry), but to win in big boy football, you must run the ball, at least enough to make opposing defenses respect it. Notre Dame should be ok in this game, but this team is reminding me of the teams that played from 2008-2011, very inconsistent. I could be wrong, but Im probably not.
Michigan State has played no one this season. They stand at 3-0, but they have beaten Western Michigan, Youngstown State, and South Florida. This will be their first test of the season when they head to South Bend. Michigan State comes into this game with the number twelve ranked defense in the nation. Of course, as I already mentioned, they havent really played any top talent, but there are a lot of teams ranked behind them that have played even lesser talent. The Spartans offense are a completely opposite style than the Irish. Sophomore Quarterback, Connor Cook, leads the State offense with just 274 yards passing and 4 touchdowns, while running backs Jeremy Langford and Nick Hill have combined for nearly 400 yards on the ground between them. I see Michigan State attempting to run the ball and keep the Notre Dame offense on the sideline. Michigan State wants that 16-14 type game, whereas Notre Dame will be happy putting up 35-40 points.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: A 7 point spread in a game like this just seems like too much for me. Notre Dame has not proven to me that they can run away from the top opponents. They lost to Michigan by 11, and barely hung on to beat Purdue in the prime time last week. I see a very sloppy, physical game that ends with someone up by about 3-4 points. I almost want to tell you to just take the Spartans straight up, but lets be safe and take the 7 points. THE MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS +7
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