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Cotton Bowl: Michigan State vs Alabama

The Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan State Spartans do battle in the Cotton Bowl with a berth in the National Championship Game on the line. The Crimson Tide has revelled in their games against Big 10 opponents as ‘Bama is 5-1 SU and ATS against the conference.

Shark Bites
  • Michigan State has lost just one game in their past 17 games and that was by one point.
  • The OVER is 4-0 in Alabama’s past four games in December.
  • The Spartans have the worst offense in the playoff, with the team averaging 32 points per game.

Alabama was, once again, one of the best teams in the nation this season much to the chagrin of anyone who is not a hardcore Tide fan. Alabama’s gameplan was built around the old grinding style of football years past with their defense ranking third in points against and running back Derrick Henry breaking Hershel Walker’s SEC rushing record.

Michigan State has been in playoff mode longer than most teams in the nation, with their inclusion coming based on a final game victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes.  The Spartans ended their season with wins over two top five teams in the final three weeks with their defense holding opponents to just 14 points per game in that span.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Those siding with the visitors in this one saw the $Michigan State Spartans listed as 9.5-point underdogs earlier this week at Bovada. Meanwhile, the over under betting line was unavailable earlier in the week, but posted shortly at MyBookie.

Odds Shark computer prediction formulas pick a 40-23 win for the Crimson Tide on Thursday. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NCAAF matchups here.

Michigan State Spartans vs Alabama Crimson Tide Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Alabama Crimson Tide sport a record of 12-1 and 7-6 ATS heading into this betting matchup, while the Michigan State Spartans sit at 12-1 and 5-7-1 ATS on the season. The over under totals records are 5-7-1 for the Crimson Tide and 6-7 for the Spartans. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Alabama vs Michigan State injuries news.

This game matches up the No. 5 (Alabama Crimson Tide) and the No. 21 (Michigan State Spartans) teams in the league, according to our current NCAA football Power Rankings at Odds Shark.

Statistical Matchup

The game also pits Alabama's No. 36-ranked offense, averaging 34.08 PPG, against a Michigan State defense that ranks No. 20 this week at 20.46 PPG. The Alabama aerial game is averaging 214.31 yards per game, less than the Michigan State Spartans secondary allows through the air, 229.85 YPG per game.

In comparing defenses, the Michigan State Spartans own the league's No. 2-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 89.67 yards per game when on the road. Alabama, on the other hand, rates No. 54 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

The Spartans grabbed a Week 14 victory over the Hawkeyes in their last game, winning 16-13 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Derrick Henry went over the 100-yard mark (189) in his team's latest effort as Alabama defeated Florida by a score of 29-15 on Saturday.