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No. 16 Spartans look to win their fifth bowl game in six years vs No. 18 Cougars

The Michigan State Spartans will look to end their season on a high note when they meet the Washington State Cougars in the Holiday Bowl in sunny San Diego. The Spartans are 7-2 SU in their last nine games and stayed competitive in the Big Ten after finishing last season at 3-9 SU. They opened as 2.5-point dogs to get the W vs the Cougars.

SHARK BITES
  • The total has gone UNDER in Washington State’s last nine games after a loss.
  • Michigan State is 1-8 ATS in its last nine games against the Pac-12.
  • Washington State is 1-4 SU in its last five bowl games.

Michigan State will be paced by quarterback Brian Lewerke, who wasn’t a world-beater by any stretch as he only managed 17 passing touchdowns and seven interceptions. Since Washington State is better against the pass than the run, expect a heavy dose of Spartans running back LJ Scott. Michigan State is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five bowl games and only averages 23.1 points per game this season. So, if the Spartans expect to escape with a victory, they may need to make this a slow-paced grind of a game to shut down the Cougars offense.

Washington State and Luke Falk have made their name this season by throwing bombs to their wide receivers and the Spartans should expect more of the same from the Cougars in the Holiday Bowl. The only problem with this formula is they need talent with their wideouts and Washington State coach Mike Leach dismissed starting wide receivers Tavares Martin Jr. and Isaiah Johnson-Mack from the team. While the Cougars should still manage with the talent they have, it’s not encouraging for bettors who plan to back Washington State.

The total opened at 45 and bettors should consider the OVER in this matchup. The total has gone OVER in five of the Spartans’ last seven bowl games and the OVER has hit in three of the Cougars’ last four games this season.

Michigan State Spartans vs Washington State Cougars Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

Washington State battles the Michigan State Spartans, currently with a 9-3 mark (7-5 ATS). The OVER/UNDER records, important for totals betting, are 5-7 for the Cougars and 5-7 for the Spartans. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Washington State vs Michigan State injuries news.

The Cougars sit at No. 26 in the current College Football Power Rankings here at OddsShark, while the Spartans are at No. 73 on that chart.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Washington State Cougars' No. 42-ranked offense (31.42 PPG) against a Michigan State Spartans defense that ranks No. 23 at 20.25 PPG. The Washington State passing attack has averaged 374.75 yards per game, more than Michigan State gives up through the air (196.5 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Spartans own the league's No. 14-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 117.8 yards per game when on the road. Washington State, on the other hand, rates No. 120 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Michigan State cruised to victory in its last outing, as they ran up a 40-7 score against Rutgers at High Point Solutions Stadium.

Luke Falk led the way last time out for the Cougars, connecting for 369 passing yards, but failing to earn the victory in a 41-14 loss to the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium.

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