Iowa vs Michigan State Big 10 Championship Game Odds Preview

Posted by Daniel Strum on December 4, 2015 in

I wonder if the third-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes feel a bit like late comedian Rodney Dangerfield…because clearly, they get no respect. No matter, the unbeaten Hawkeyes will try to get their ‘respect’ when they battle the Michigan State Spartans as NCAA Football Betting Odds underdogs in the 2015 Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night. Now, let’s find out if the Hawkeyes can pull off the upset to bring home the bacon!

How To Bet The Spartans vs. Hawkeyes Big 10 Championship Game Odds, TV & Game Info

When: Saturday, December 5, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Stream Option: FoxSportsGo
NCAAF Odds: Michigan State -4
Over/Under: 52.5

Why bet on the Michigan State Spartans (11-1 SU, 5-7 ATS)

The Spartans pounded the snot out of Penn State in its overwhelming 55-16 Week 14 win while easily covering the spread as a 7.5-point home favorite. Quarterback Connor Cook came back from sitting out the previous week to complete 19 of 26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Michigan State offense to a stellar 8-for-11 success rate on third downs. “Obviously, sitting out stunk,” Cook said. “I’ve been very fortunate to play in a lot of games and not have to sit out. That was a reality check and made me appreciate it that much more.”

The Spartans’ defense forced four turnovers in the win and limited the Nittany Lions to 5-for-15 success on third downs. The Spartans know the loser of this affair will be left on the outside looking in come College Football Playoff time. “The way it looks right now, I would think the winner of this football game goes to the college playoffs,” Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said. “An 11-1 team that was No. 5 last week and the No. 4 team, playing an extra game. So, there’s added risk to all of this for us.”

Why Bet on the Iowa Hawkeyes (12-0 SU, 7-5 ATS)

The Hawkeyes picked up a hard-fought 28-20 win over Nebraska last weekend to remain unbeaten and cash in as a 2.5-point road favorite as running back Jordan Canzeri rushed for 140 yards and two scores on 17 carries while quarterback C.J. Bethard tossed one touchdown pass. Defensively, the Hawkeyes picked off Nebraska signal-caller Tommie Frazier a whopping four times.

Now, the Hawkeyes believe a win in this contest will catapult them into the four-team playoff. “I told (the players), I said, ‘I don’t really know what to say.’ I’ve never been around a team that is 12-0. I’m a little bit speechless on that,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “It is just an unbelievable accomplishment, an unbelievable effort by the players today.

“We said back in August, our goal is to be a championship-level team, a Big Ten championship-level team. So today we moved one step closer and we are very happy about that.”

My Expert Iowa vs Michigan State Game Analysis, Prediction & Pick

Okay, I’ll be the first person to admit that this is an absolutely gut-wrenching pick – and anyone that tells you otherwise is either an alumni of one of these Big Ten rivals or absolutely insane. Having said that, I’m backing the Iowa Hawkeyes to get the outright win against the Spartans. The Hawkeyes have dominated almost every opponent they’ve faced this season and win ‘ugly’ by playing as a team on both sides of the ball, kind of like the Carolina Panthers are doing in the NFL right now. Iowa has an underrated rushing attack and an equally underrated quarterback in C.J. Bethard, not to mention the fact that I believe Michigan State’s good fortune (luck) has just about run out after escaping losses against Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue and Oregon.

While Michigan State has gone 6-0 ATS in their last six neutral site games, the underdog in this rivalry has gone 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings while the Spartans have gone just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 meetings against the Hawkeyes.

I’m going with the 43 percent of the betting public that likes the Iowa Hawkeyes to both, get their respect and cover the spread at the very least.

My Pick: Iowa 31 Michigan State 28