The #7 Michigan State Spartans (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) and the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1, 7-0 Big Ten) clash in a Big Ten Conference showdown on Saturday as a de facto playoff elimination game and who will have control in the Big Ten East division.
Saturday’s tilt kicks off at noon EST inside the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, OH. Ohio State is a 19-point favorite over MSU, and the over-under total is 67 points.
What to Know – Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State has done everything right this season outside of a letdown loss to Purdue two weeks ago. With a win, the Spartans will control the Big Ten East with a showdown against Penn State left on the schedule. Michigan State hasn’t beaten the Buckeye since 2015, also in Columbus.
The Spartans average 34.6 points per game behind an offense that produces 449.6 yards of offense. MSU does most of its damage on the ground, rushing for 251.8 yards per game. Defensively, the Spartans hold opponents to 22.5 points and 443.8 yards of offense.
The storyline heading into Saturday’s contest is if the Buckeyes can control running back Kenneth Walker. The Heisman-hopeful has 1,473 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns this season, both numbers leading the nation.
The Spartans are 7-2-1 against the spread this season and 4-1 ATS on the road. The total has gone over in nine of MSU’s last 13 contests.
What to Know – Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes moved into the College Football Playoff picture after Oklahoma went down last week. If OSU wins out, the Buckeyes should be in the playoffs for the third year in a row. A win against the Spartans also wraps up the east division, sending the Buckeyes back to the Big Ten Championship.
OSU leads the nation scoring 46.3 points per game and racking up 550.0 yards of offense. The Buckeyes throw for 353.6 yards per game and rush for nearly 200. Opposing teams average 20.2 points and 368.8 yards of offense against a defense that appears much improved since the start of the season.
Who do you try and stop on OSU’s offense? Quarterback C.J. Stroud has blossomed into a star for the Buckeyes, and it helps when he has guys like Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Garrett Wilson, and Chris Olave to throw to. Freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson is electric with the ball in his hands, averaging a ridiculous 7.3 yards every time he touches the ball.
Ohio State is 5-4-1 ATS in 2021 with a 3-3 mark ATS at the Horseshoe. The over has hit in 11 of the Buckeyes’ last 16 matchups.
The Pick is In
The Buckeyes defense hopes to slow down Walker while MSU has the daunting task of trying to contain the Buckeyes offense that is one of the best in the nation. We think neither team will be able to stop the other and that there will be some offensive fireworks in this one.
Betting Pick: Spartans/Buckeyes OVER 66.5