Bowl Week includes an interesting matchup of a Big Ten team that did not reach expectations and one that could well be in decline against a Pac 12 team that many are now tabbing as the “Team of the Future.” The Michigan State Spartans did not contend for the Big Ten East Division title this year and seem to be falling further behind Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State. The Oregon Ducks had a solid but hardly great year under first year head coach Mario Cristobal. But the big news about Oregon was made recently when Cristobal hauled in a top five recruiting class that has fans and gamblers thinking that the Ducks have plenty of upside in the years to come. Michigan State and Oregon will meet in the Redbox Bowl.
Watch the Redbox Bowl live on Monday, December 31, 2018, at 3 p.m. ET from Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California. The game can be seen on FOX.
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Michigan State +2
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Oregon is the understandable favorite in that they had the better year and are seen as having momentum in comparison to Michigan State. The recent hype about Oregon’s recruiting class also draws public attention their way.
Green and White Becomes Blood Red
It was an OK season for the Michigan State Spartans on the field but a bloodbath in sportsbooks this year. State finished 7-5 straight up, 4-8 against the spread, and 4-8 under the total. Sparty limped down the stretch with just one win in their final three games with no payouts in that span. In fact, the season ending 14-10 home win over Rutgers as 24.5 overlays was derided by many. Head coach Mark Dantonio has been the best Spartans head coach since Biggie Munn in the 1950’s and deserves considerable credit for producing a renaissance in MSU football that most believed was not possible. But since their 2015 playoff debacle the Spartans have not been quite the same program and seem to be stalled as a good but not great program. MSU finished fourth in the Big Ten East Division.
Quack Attack Also Lacks Profits
The Oregon Ducks are 8-4 straight up but just 4-8 against the spread with a 5-6-1 mark under the total. As a result, Oregon ended up fourth in the Pac 12 North Division. The Ducks finished better than the Spartans in that they did win three of their last four games with two payouts. Oregon’s chance for a breakout season was badly damaged on September 22 when they blew a 31-21 lead at home against Stanford with less than four minutes to play in what turned out to be a painful 38-31 overtime loss. Still, it was a one-game improvement over last year and with Oregon fans and gamblers excited about the future.
Oregon ranks 30th in the nation for total offense and 18th for points scored. Defensively the Ducks were less impressive and ranked 63rd for points allowed.
Michigan State’s offense was downright awful and ranks 117th overall and 123rd for scoring. Defensively Sparty was much stronger and ranked 14th both overall and for points allowed.
Players to Watch
Oregon is led by junior quarterback Justin Herbert who is a hometown hero out of Eugene. Herbert passed for 2985 yards with 28 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. Running back CJ Verdell kept defenses honest with 975 yards rushing, 5.2 yards per carry, and 10 touchdowns. Wideout Dillon Mitchell had 69 catches good for 1114 yards receiving and nine touchdowns.
Free Live Betting ATS Pick
Oregon has vastly superior firepower to plodding Michigan State and is building well for the future. The Spartans lack the offensive capability to exploit the mediocre Oregon defense. The price is small enough for Oregon to pay.
NCAA Football Odds
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