Washington State vs. MSU Bowl Pick
Will the Michigan State Spartans handle business in the Holiday Bowl tonight when they take on Washington State at 9:00 p.m. ET?
ODDSMAKERS LIKE: Michigan State. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Spartans are 2-point favorites to beat the Cougars, who opened as 4.5-point favorites before the number moved significantly. The total, meanwhile, hit the board at 45.5 but was bet up to 47.5.
THE PUBLIC LIKES: Michigan State. As of Thursday afternoon, 71% of betting tickets are on the Spartans to cover the spread and 89% of the money is also on Michigan State.
INJURY REPORT: Robert Bowers (personal) is out for the year and so is defensive end Mufi Hunt (knee). Weston Bridges (undisclosed), meanwhile, is probable, as is AJ Arcuri (undisclosed).
Quarterback Luke Falk is likely to play tonight despite dealing with a wrist injury. Tavares Martin Jr. (personal) is out and so is Isaiah Johnson-Mack (personal). Hercules Mata'afa (suspension) is doutbufl while running back Gerald Wicks (leg) is questionable.
WHO WE LIKE: Michigan State. This Spartan defense has been incredible this season. They rank ninth in the nation in yards allowed per game, surrendering 297.4 YPG. They're also 33rd in passing yards allowed (196.1), fifth in rushing yards allowed (101.3), and 24th in points allowed (20.2).
This is how I see this game unfolding: Michigan State wants to win by controlling the game on the ground and playing sound defense. If Falk and Mike Leach are left on the sidelines for long stretches, I could see them getting antsy and forcing the action offensively for Wash State. MSU won't beat itself but I could see a mistake or two costing the Cougars.
Sparty is 4-0 against the spread in their last four bowl games, are 6-1-1 against the number in their last eight neutral site games, and are 4-1-1 at the betting window in their last six games played in the month of December. The Cougars, meanwhile, are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against Big Ten foes.
HOLIDAY BOWL PREDICTIONS: MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS -2