After the terrifying ordeal that was the Minnesota vs. Penn State game, I felt like I had found a $20 lottery ticket lying in the gutter, discarded, covered in a couple inches of dirt and grime, but it was a $20 winner. I also heard the “WE GOT ONE! (bell)” scene from Ghostbusters in my head. We’re officially off the schneid with my best bet picks, but it didn’t come easy thanks to overtime. Maybe, just maybe, we can make it two in a row. Then we can make it three in a row! That’s called a winning streak. After two movie references in the intro, let’s get to this week’s pick.
BYU vs. Michigan State College Football Preview
Date/Time: Saturday October 8, 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: Big Ten Network
College Football Betting Odds from 5Dimes
College Football Betting Favorite: Michigan State -6
For the first time since October 26, 2013, the Michigan State Spartans will take the field without a number in front of their name. Mark Dantonio’s team has fallen out of the top 25 for the first time in almost three years. I guess that’s what happens when you lose to Indiana. The Spartans are just 2-2 on the season and they are only 1-3 ATS as a favorite in every game. BYU suffered its first ATS loss of the year in that crazy game against Toledo back on September 30. The Cougars won 55-53 to improve to 2-3, but they failed to cover the three-point number.
The new pro-style offense of Ty Detmer took some getting used to, but it would seem that the Cougars have figured it out. They’ve scored 87 points over their last two games after scoring 51 points through the first three games. Taysom Hill isn’t a great fit for a scheme like that, but the twenty-sixth-year senior was given the keys to the castle under the new regime. He’s thrown for over 1,100 yards, but he’s thrown more interceptions than touchdowns with a completion percentage below 60 percent. Jamaal Williams has been a bell cow back for the Cougs. He’s run for 703 yards and 6.5 yards per carry on the season. BYU is always strong in the trenches and Bronco Mendenhall’s recruited beef is still on the front line, even though he moved on to Virginia.
Nobody wanted to play defense in that Toledo game, but the Cougars are starting to get exposed a little bit on that side of the ball. They’ve given up 88 points and 1,173 yards over the last two weeks. Logan Woodside threw for 505 yards on the BYU defense in that 55-53 slobberknocker in Provo and Skyler Howard racked up 332 yards in Landover in the neutral-site game against WVU. Over the last two games, opposing quarterbacks have completed 61-of-78 passes (78.2%) on this defense.
Michigan State Spartans:
It has not been pretty the last two weeks for the Michigan State offense. After putting on a rushing clinic against Notre Dame by piling up 260 yards on the Fighting Irish, the Spartans have run for 250 yards over the last two games against Wisconsin and Indiana. The threat of the pass has been virtually non-existent. Tyler O’Connor is no Connor Cook, as we’re finding out. He’s completed 60.7 percent of his tosses and has an 8/5 TD/INT ratio. LJ Scott and Gerald Holmes have run for a combined total of 453 yards on 90 carries, so that’s a solid average, but the Spartans only have four rushing touchdowns.
On defense, injuries have been problematic. Riley Bullough is expected to miss another game with his injury and Jon Reschke will also be out, leaving the Spartans short two starters in the second level. Michigan State has lost each of the last two weeks, but they have outgained the opposition each week, so this defense has played well. Wisconsin only had three yards per carry and Indiana needed 39 rushes to break 150 yards. In the 30-6 loss to Wisconsin, Michigan State allowed touchdown drives of 65, 28, and 5 yards, and the Badgers had a strip-six. It wasn’t the defense’s fault at all.
Burke’s Best Bet for Week 6: Michigan State -6
It’ll be a Sparty Party in East Lansing this week. We’re taking a little bit of a line value bath at 6, since there are some 5.5s out there in the market and this number was lower earlier in the week, but Michigan State does everything that BYU can do, but better. The Cougars have had some extra time, but East Lansing is a new venue and it’s another game away from the altitude in a new location. They were down big against WVU before rallying in against a prevent defense protecting a 16-point lead. Tyler O’Connor should get some throwing lanes here and Michigan State won’t have a letdown. After losing two straight weeks, it doesn’t matter that this game comes in the middle of conference play. They need a win and they’re going to be motivated and focused to get it.
Kyle Hunter is on a MASSIVE 25-6 run in his last 31 plays. Totals are his specialty and Kyle is offering a discounted $400 all football totals package. Every single totals play from now through the end of the college football and NFL season. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or send him a message on twitter for more details.