The Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Michigan State Spartans. Check out our college football odds series for our Ohio State Michigan State prediction and pick.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are doing something in Week 6 which they didn’t do in any of the first five weeks of the season: Play a road game. The Buckeyes hosted Notre Dame, Arkansas State, Toledo, Wisconsin, and Rutgers in the first five weeks of the new campaign. They finally venture out of state and into an enemy lair. Last week, a Washington Huskies team which did not play a road game in any of its first four games looked woefully inadequate and underprepared for a modest test against the UCLA Bruins. Playing a first road game in a season can be a little unsettling for a team. It might lead to some rough edges in an overall performance. We’ll see how well Ohio State handles this moment.
Ohio State’s defense is much improved this season. New coordinator Jim Knowles — hired by head coach Ryan Day from Oklahoma State — has been a big difference-maker. Day said earlier this week that the improvement of his players and the presence of Knowles have been the two big parts of OSU’s defensive improvement. Day said organic player growth and Knowles’ coaching were both 50 percent of the reason for the Buckeyes’ forward strides.
The big comfort zone for the Buckeyes in this game is connected to the reality that Michigan State’s secondary has not markedly improved from last year. The 2021 Michigan State secondary was porous, and Ohio State had the passing game and the receivers to make MSU look very slow and incompetent. C.J. Stroud likely became a Heisman Trophy finalist because of the ease with which he carved up the Spartans last November. Given that Michigan State had a very good record going into that game, Stroud received a big bounce from Heisman voters. Michigan State hasn’t been better in 2022. The Spartans were eviscerated by Washington quarterback Michael Penix in Week 3, and they have lost three straight games. Head coach Mel Tucker received a hefty raise last season when his name circulated as possible target for other head coaching openings. Michigan State might soon regret committing that much money to a coach based on one great season.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Ohio State-Michigan StateCollege Football Odds,.
College Football Odds: Ohio State-Michigan State Odds
Ohio State Buckeyes: -26.5 (-115)
Michigan State Spartans: +26.5 (-105)
Over: 64.5 (-115)
Under: 64.5 (-105)
Why Ohio State Could Cover the Spread
The Spartans’ secondary is their biggest weakness as a position group, and Ohio State has the QB-receiver connections to make Michigan State pay a hefty price, as was the case in last year’s Buckeye romp over the Spartans. C.J. Stroud should be able to throw the ball at will and score plenty of points. Michigan State has looked awful the past three weeks. It’s hard to see where or how Michigan State can find a solution in this matchup against the big, bad Buckeyes and all their speed on the perimeter.
Why Michigan State Could Cover the Spread
The Spartans are underdogs by nearly four touchdowns. That’s a ton of points, even for a team which has struggled the past few weeks. Michigan State will be fired up for this game. The Spartans won’t win outright, but they can certainly put up a fight on defense by generating pressure on Stroud and forcing him into bad decisions which take pressure off the weak MSU secondary. Playing well for 2.5 quarters could give Michigan State enough of a cushion relative to the spread.
Final Ohio State-Michigan State Prediction & Pick
The Buckeyes’ lopsided win last year, combined with Michigan State’s struggles this year, makes an OSU pick the better play here.
Final Ohio State Michigan State Prediction & Pick: Ohio State -26.5