Bowl Pick: Capital One

A pair of 9-3 teams do battle on the grass of the Florida Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day when the Michigan State Spartans take on the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2009 Capital One Bowl.

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Chick-fil-A Bowl Free Pick, which takes place Thursday January 1 at 1:00PM ET.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made Georgia -8 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set 54 total points.

Top Public Betting Trend: Georgia is just 1-6-1 against the spread in its last eight games while Michigan State is 9-2 straight up in its last 11 contests. The total has also gone over in four of Michigan State’s last six games and in four of Georgia’s last five.

Key Stat: Georgia is allowing nearly 26 points per game this season despite only allowing an average of 188.4 passing yards and 129.9 rushing yards.

Game Outlook: It’s easy to look at this game and dismiss Michigan State as an inferior opponent to Georgia, which once ranked No. 1 in the nation early in 2008. But the Spartans have a couple of things going for themselves that should keep this game close. Tailback Javon Ringer is one of the best backs in the nation and most of the time defenses can’t see the small runner behind a massive MSU offensive line. While Georgia is quick defensively and can fly to the football, it might have issues winning the battle in the trenches. MSU quarterback Brandon Hoyer has also been very good in the second half of the season and has improved his game dramatically. As long as he doesn’t turn the ball over and plays largely mistake free, the Spartans should have a chance in the fourth quarter to win. We still think the Bulldogs are the better team and should win this game outright, but they have not been good against the number this year, as they’ve failed to cover the spread in eight of their 11 games this year. (Although two of those games were pushes.) We think the Bulldogs will win, but take MSU and the eight points. For the rest of our College Football Bowl Free Pick, see below.

Check out the 2008 Capital One Bowl Preview

Our Free College Football Bowl Pick for the Capital One Bowl matchup between the Georgia Bulldogs and Michigan State Spartans game is

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS +8

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

Georgia Bulldogs 37

Michigan State Spartans 30

We also predict that this game will GO OVER THE TOTAL (54 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 1/1/09 8:00AM ET

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