The true strength of a team is often measured in how well they bounce back after adversity. In college football, that usually means picking yourself up after a loss that caused what many might perceive as irreparable damage to your season. The team that has to do that this week is the Michigan State Spartans.
The Spartans were riding high and still very much in the playoff picture before facing Ohio State last week. Sixty minutes later, their hopes and dreams for the season had been pretty much demolished after taking a hefty beating that was sure to have resulted in a shell shocked locker room, and let’s not talk about what happened to their football betting odds to reach the college football playoffs. What made the loss even bitterer to swallow was that the Spartans defense had been so solid all year. If you had told people before that game that Michigan State would put 37-points on the board, very few would have bet on them losing, but the defense folded and gave up 49.
This week they have to go on the road to face a Maryland team that has been about as inconsistent as it gets. They are on a win one/lose one stretch of games that makes them very tough to figure out. This is a team that can’t seem to get a solid 60 out of their offense and defense. When one plays great, the other one seems to struggle. If the defense struggles this weekend, they could be on the end of a hiding.
BETTING ODDS AND GAME PREDICTION
There is no real surprise here that Michigan State has been installed as favorites, but the 12.5-point line is one that might make people think twice about taking them. While they are only 5-3 ATS when placed as the favorite this season, that record does include a 2-0 mark when the line is in this range. Maryland’s record ATS in all major categories is a lot like their performances in that it is split right down the middle. They are perhaps one of the toughest teams to figure out in college ball.
MICHIGAN STATE: -12½-110, OV 58 ½ -110, ML -460
MARYLAND: +12½-110, UN 58 ½ -110, ML +360
I have to confess that the line here does make me a little nervous. Michigan State should win this one, but do they do it in style, or do they come in feeling sorry for themselves after that tough loss? I think they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and do enough to cover, but only just.