Michigan State Spartans (7-5) vs Oregon Ducks (8-4)Date : 12/31/2018
Time : 3:00 PM
Location : Levi's Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Michigan State Spartans vs Oregon Ducks
The Oregon Ducks and Michigan State Spartans are set to meet in the Redbox Bowl at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the opening kickoff is slated for 3:00 PM. Oregon didn’t have their best of years as they finished 4th in the Pac-12 North division while Michigan State had a similar outcome as they finished 4th in the Big Ten East division.
Michigan State Spartans's Latest Performance :
Michigan State struggled to put together their top-notch defense with their below-average offense which prevented this team from making noise in the Big Ten but they will still find themselves in their 2nd consecutive bowl game. The Spartans enter this matchup fresh off a win against the lowly Rutgers as they were able to hold them off in a 14-10 game. QB Rocky Lombardi has taken over as the full-time starter but has failed to really improve this offense and we saw that against Rutgers. Lombardi was only able to complete 19 of his 43 pass attempts for a total of 173 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception. It is unclear who will start the bowl game for the Spartans as Lombardi post a stat line of 738 passing yards, 3 TDs, and 3 interceptions while Brian Lewerke has thrown for 1868 yards, 8 TDs, and 10 interceptions. The ground game has really struggled to find an identity especially without the services of LJ Scott. RB Connor Heyward has taken over as the starter but he barely cracked the 500-yard mark on the season with 520 yards and 5 TDs, Heyward was able to run for 81 yards on 19 carries against Rutgers. One of the top Spartans playmakers has been WR Cody White and despite the bad offense he put together a nice game against Rutgers with 22 rushing yards and a TD as well as 44 reception yards. The Spartans have been creative in getting the ball in White’s hands as he has totaled 513 yards and 3 TDs on the season, and they will need to continue that if they want any success. The Michigan State defense has been one of the top in the nation and they have proved it over the final stretch of the season. LB Joe Bachie had a solid outing against Rutgers with 12 tackles while Josiah Scott was able to come away with 2 interceptions in the back end of the defense.
Oregon Ducks's Latest Performance :
The Oregon Ducks found themselves as high as 12th in the AP Poll this season but 4 losses in Pac-12 play dropped this team out of contention for a New Years Six Bowl and landed them in this game which will be their 2nd consecutive bowl game. The Ducks were able to end their season on a high note as they went on the road and beat their in-state rivals in the Oregon State Beavers 55-15. QB Justin Herbert just recently announced that he will be returning to Oregon for his senior year which is huge considering the level of play he has been playing at this season. Herbert didn’t have to do much against Oregon State but he was effective completing 9 of his 12 passes for a total of 102 yards and a TD. Herbert enters the final game of the season with a stat line of 2985 yards, 28 TDs, and 8 interceptions. The ground game is what opened up the game against Oregon State as the RBs totaled 4 TDs in this outing. RB CJ Verdell was able to reach the end zone 5 different times as he totaled 187 yards and 4 TDs on 23 carries while also contributing 1 receiving TD, Verdell has run for 975 yards and 10 TDs on the season. Freshmen RB Travis Dye had a huge outing as he was able to run for a team-high 199 yards and 1 TD on 33 carries. Herbert only hooked up with his favorite WR Dillon Mitchell 1 time for 9 yards but the duo has been deadly this season as Mitchell has totaled 1114 yards and 9 TDs. The Oregon defense was able to derail a fairly good Oregon State offense with a couple of turnovers. Thomas Graham Jr. was able to rack up 6 tackles but his presence was felt more so through the air as he hauled in 2 interceptions.
How Michigan State Spartans & Oregon Ducks Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Michigan State is 4-8 ATS
Oregon is 4-8 ATS
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Oregon ranks 18th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 37.2 PPG while Michigan State ranks 122nd as they score an average of 19.8 PPG.
Michigan State ranks 13th in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 18 PPG while Oregon ranks 63rd as they hold opponents to an average of 27 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Oregon Ducks -2.5
My reason for the pick :
This is one of my favorite bets of the bowl season as I think we are getting a reasonably valuable line with the Ducks in this one and I will gladly take it. Oregon has had a prolific offense all season long as they have shown the ability to do damage through the air and on the ground which is why they rank inside the top 20. Michigan State has a really good defense and don’t get me wrong they should come up with stops but the difference is their offense will try to play the field position game as they won’t be able to get much going with their revolving door at QB. Justin Herbert lives and dies by Oregon football which is why he will be passing up a 1st round selection to return for another year and I think he continues to show why Oregon is on the rise. Oregon wins by 14+ points.
Betting trends for Michigan State Spartans:
- Michigan State is 3-1 ATS in bowl games since 2013.
Betting trends for Oregon Ducks:
- Oregon is 0-3 ATS when playing non-conference opponents this season.