Michigan State Spartans vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Date and Time: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Opening College Football Odds: Ohio State -17
Michigan State vs. Ohio State TV Coverage: FOX
The Buckeyes aren't necessarily totally out of the National Championship picture, but two losses, the second of which came to a team that is now 3-3 in Big Ten play, is probably curtains on the season. Still, they control their own destiny in the Big Ten East and really have no excuses to miss out on the Rose Bowl.
Motivation could be another factor, though. Urban Meyer promised that he was going to let off a "nuclear bomb" if the Buckeyes showed any sign of a letdown in practice a week after beating Penn State. Everyone said all the right things in Columbus this week heading to Iowa City, but it's clear that the team wasn't ready for the battle at hand.
Let's not take anything away from Michigan State. Sparty was able to beat Penn State last week to keep its hopes of winning the Big Ten alive. In fact, if this game is won, the Spartans will be a win over Maryland or Rutgers away from winning the division and setting up a date with Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.
For all intents and purposes, Sparty has the same resume Ohio State does right now. The Buckeyes don't really have any tremendously notable wins short of the one against Penn State. Michigan State's signature victory at Michigan looks every bit as good. Both teams have a bad loss on the road (Iowa and Northwestern respectively), and both lost their first game at home to a team that would be in the College Football Playoff if it started today (Oklahoma and Notre Dame respectively).
The Last Meeting
Though these teams are nothing now like they were last year, the formula Michigan State set last year against Ohio State in a 17-16 loss in East Lansing could set the tone this year as well.
L.J. Scott ran the ball 19 times for 160 yards and a touchdown against the stout Ohio State front seven. You might think that the Buckeyes would never allow that type of yardage again, but they were just gashed by Akrum Wadley and the Iowa running game.
Plus, the Spartans are in much better shape under center right now with Brian Lewerke than they were with Tyler O'Connor.
If Michigan State can improve upon 3-for-12 on third downs and have more than one passing play that covered more than 15 yards, it might have a shot at this upset.
Michigan State vs. Ohio State Free Picks
Last week, we questioned if Ohio State really had the ability to line up against a smash mouth team after all of the spread offenses it had gone up against.
Now, the Buckeyes are going to have to get right back on the horse once again and do it all over again versus a much more powerful Michigan State team.
Though we think Ohio State is going to find a way to win this game, this is a lot of points given to us by the top online sportsbooks. The Spartans have proven they can play, and Lewerke is the difference. We wouldn't be stunned if they pull off this upset.
College Football ATS Pick: Michigan State +17 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Ohio State 27, Michigan State 23