For Ohio State, the road to the BCS championship goes through Indianapolis and the Michigan State Spartans. The Buckeyes opened as favorites to extend their 24-game win streak in the Big Ten Championship Game, but they face a stout defense and a team that bites very hard as an underdog.
Point spread: Ohio State opened as 5.5-point favorites in the Big Ten Championship Game odds menu; the total was 51.5 early in the week. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 31-22 Ohio State
Why Ohio State can cover the spread
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has yet to lose since taking over the Buckeyes, who have won 24 straight games, and with a win has a very good chance of landing in the BCS championship game. Throwing all in-game intangibles out of this one, understand that Meyer may be one of the two best game-preparation coaches in the nation.
And the Buckeyes have mastered the Spartans lately, winning eight of nine meetings, according to Odds Shark's college football database.
Why Michigan State can cover the spread
Michigan State boasts the nation's best defense, which is littered with future NFL draftees. And while everyone has been clamoring about Ohio State in this conference, ol' Sparty has been getting things done quietly and has been dominant in doing so. The Spartans defense has led them most of the way and isn't afraid of anyone.
MSU bettors know their team is 8-1-1 against the spread in 10 recent games as underdogs. They also know that the Buckeyes have won 24 straight, but they are just 14-10 ATS in that span.
The rule of thumb in college football is to take the underdog if it has the better defense. The line Ohio State is laying is ridiculous, given this is a neutral field and Michigan State has a stalwart stop unit that has allowed more than 17 points just twice this season.
This is a game that could come down to who's holding the ball last. Take Michigan State.
- Ohio State has won eight of the past nine meetings with the Spartans
- Ohio State has won 24 straight games SU
- Michigan State is just 2-6-1 ATS past nine games vs. Buckeyes
- Michigan State is 8-1-1 ATS past 10 games as underdog since 2011