The Ohio State Buckeyes are looking to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win against the Michigan State Spartans this weekend. Ohio State needs to win the rest of their regular season games and the Big 10 Championship in order to be one of the final four teams in the country, but this team has not looked as good as Buckeyes teams in the past. The defense has been relatively porous, and that nearly came back to bite them against Nebraska this weekend. Ohio State has been able to turn it on in November before, but something feels a little off with this team.
This contest in Week 11 will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 12 p.m. ET at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
Ohio State -3.5
Michigan State +3.5
Total Check Back Later
The CFB betting line has not moved from where it originally opened. Ohio State has produced some head scratching results in recent weeks given their uncharacteristic woes on defense, so bettors are a little hesitant to trust the Buckeyes in a tough spot on the road. As for Michigan State, you could argue that no coach is better at pulling off upsets in ugly, low scoring games than Mark Dantonio. The Spartans have never looked great when it comes to the advanced stats, but they know how to take you to their level by slowing a game down and grinding it out.
The total in this game will be released on Monday afternoon. I’d expect a number in the low 50s with the game-time temperature projected to be in the low 30s.
Matchup to Watch
It’s been three years since Michigan State last had a quarterback it could really trust. Dantonio was able to do great things with Kirk Cousins and Connor Cook, but he won’t be mistaken for a quarterback coach any time in the near future. The Spartans have received just minimal production from the position over the past few seasons, and Brian Lewerke’s performance over the last few games has fans wondering what to expect here.
Lewerke has not been anything special in his previous two seasons running the offense, but he was good enough in 2017 to make Michigan State competitive every week. However, interceptions have plagued him this season and that seems to have impacted the rest of his game over the last few weeks. He was very inaccurate against Michigan, completing just 20 percent of his passes, and he checked down a lot against Maryland, averaging just 4.4 yards per pass attempt.
Those numbers are unlikely to get it done against Ohio State, but Dantonio has said Lewerke is his quarterback for now. However, don’t be surprised if he has a short leash, as the Buckeyes don’t have a good defense and this one could turn into a relatively high scoring game.
Player to Watch
Dwayne Haskins has been nearly as good as advertised as a sophomore. Urban Meyer was practically giddy talking about Haskins during the summer, and his play on the field has been superb for a young quarterback in his first year as the starter. Haskins isn’t much of a runner like many of Meyer’s quarterbacks have been in the past, but he is a great passer and he is on pace to finish with more than 40 touchdowns through the air.
In conference play, he has had some turnover woes, throwing five interceptions in his last five games, but those growing pains are to be expected for a young player. The Spartans have one of the top five run defenses in college football according to S&P+, so Haskins will need to move the ball through the air on this defense.
Live Betting Preview
It’s never easy to beat Michigan State in East Lansing, as the Spartans have a way of getting you to play their game, especially when the weather is not welcoming. However, Lewerke’s recent play has me doubting their chances of pulling off the upset. I would give this one a few series to see how Lewerke looks out of the gate before betting it, and I would also keep an eye on the weather as it seems like the worse the weather is, the better the Spartans play.
College Football Odds: Ohio State 31, Michigan State 20
BookMaker offers play-by-play betting odds for live sporting events every day! The user-friendly wagering interface on your smartphone provides an easy way to place bets on the go. Mobile betting lines are updated by the minute, so click here to start gambling on thrilling live action at BookMaker Sportsbook!