One of the first Big Ten showdowns of the season takes place Saturday afternoon when 14th-ranked Ohio State visits No. 20 Michigan State (3:30 pm ET, ABC).
The 3-1 Spartans, coming off a lackluster performance vs. Eastern Michigan, were early 2.5-point favorites over the 4-0 Buckeyes, who cannot win the conference title this year due to sanctions.
The game opened as a PK on the point spread but quickly moved to -3 for the Spartans, who were smacked at home by the Buckeyes in 2006 and 2008. [ See the latest spread and best OSU lines at ]
Power Rankings / Prediction: The power rankings show a disparity between these teams, with the Spartans rated this week at No. 4 and the Buckeyes sitting at No. 51. It may or may not play a role in OddsShark score prediction models that turned out a 42-31 result in favor of the Buckeyes this week.
How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Michigan State's No. 104-ranked offense (21 PPG) against a Buckeyes defense that ranks No. 32 at 17.2 PPG. The Spartans passing attack has averaged 229 yards per game, less than the Buckeyes give up through the air (277.2 YPG on average).
Ohio State was a 29-15 winner in its last match at home against UAB. They failed to cover the 35.5-point spread as favorites, while the total score of 44 sent UNDER bettors to the payout window. Last time we saw the Blazers, they had no answer for Jordan Hall as the Buckeyes rolled to a 29-15 victory at Ohio Stadium.
Michigan State was a 23-7 winner in their most recent outing at home against Eastern Michigan. They failed to cover the 31.5-point spread as favorites, while the total score (30) made winners of UNDER bettors. In their last game, Michigan State got a 253-yard performance from Le'Veon Bell as a key part of its 23-7 win over Eastern Michigan.
Ohio State Buckeyes Trends:
When playing in September are 9-1
When playing on grass are 4-6
After being outgained are 5-5
When playing within the conference are 5-5
Michigan State Spartans Trends:
When playing in September are 8-2
When playing on grass are 9-1
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When playing within the conference are 8-2
A few Buckeyes at Spartans trends to consider:
Ohio State is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Michigan State
Ohio State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Ohio State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Michigan State
Ohio State is 14-5-1 ATS in its last 20 games on the road
Michigan State is 17-1 SU in its last 18 games at home
Michigan State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Michigan State is 2-5-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Ohio State
Michigan State is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Ohio State home to Nebraska, Saturday, October 6
Michigan State at Indiana, Saturday, October 6