Ohio State under coach Urban Meyer holds a short edge on Michigan State under coach Mark Dantonio, winning four of six meetings straight up, including the last two. But the Spartans have split the six meetings against the spread and nearly pulled a huge upset a couple seasons ago. Who's the smart bet for this Big Ten East battle on Saturday afternoon in East Lansing?
College football point spread: The Buckeyes opened as 5.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 34.6-20.6 Buckeyes (College football picks on every game)
Why the Ohio State Buckeyes can cover the spread
The Buckeyes bounced back from that bad 49-20 loss at Purdue Boilermakers three weeks ago to beat Nebraska last week 36-31. Ohio State spotted the Cornhuskers the first seven points of the game, then scored the next 16. The Buckeyes later trailed at the half 21-16 but scored the first 14 points out of the locker room to take the lead for good, on their way to victory.
For the day Ohio State amassed 481 yards of total offense, 229 on the ground and 252 through the air. But three turnovers basically cost the Buckeyes 17 points and kept them from covering a 17-point spread.
Ohio State has now out-gained every opponent this season except Penn State.
Last year the Buckeyes beat Michigan State 48-3, easily covering as 17-point favorites.
Why the Michigan State Spartans can cover the spread
The Spartans are 2-0 both SU and ATS the last two weeks, after winning at Maryland last week 24-3 and covering as three-point favorites. Michigan State drove its opening possession of the game 79 yards to a touchdown, led 10-3 at the half, then pulled away in the second half to secure the victory and the cash.
On the afternoon, the Spartans held a 19-9 advantage in first downs, out-gained the Terrapins 361-100, out-rushed Maryland 274-26 and won time of possession by a 37/23 split.
Two weeks ago, Michigan State stymied a hot Purdue outfit 23-13. The Spartans have now out-gained six of their last seven opponents.
Smart betting pick
Yes, Ohio State won this matchup last year in blowout fashion, but that was kind of a perfect-storm day for both teams, with the Buckeyes coming off an upset loss at Iowa and Michigan State coming off an upset victory over Penn State. Also, Ohio State is not the team it was last year, getting blown out by Purdue and recently struggling with teams like Indiana and Minnesota. The smart money here takes the Spartans and the points.
College football betting trends
The total has gone under in Ohio State's last three games vs Michigan State.
The total has gone under in Michigan State's last four games.
Ohio State is 0-5 ATS in its last five games.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.