Michigan State Spartans vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers CFB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 10/4/14
Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-0) at Michigan State Spartans (3-1)
College Football: Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Spartan Stadium)
The Line: Michigan State Spartans -9.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Nebraska Cornhuskers will put their undefeated record on the line when they play the Michigan State Spartans Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers continue to produce video game numbers offensively, as they’re the third best rushing team in the country and have scored 41 or more points in four of their first five games. Ameer Abdullah should start popping up on Heisman lists, as he’s averaging 7.3 yards per carry and has topped 200 rushing yards in three games this season. Tommy Armstrong Jr. is completing only 53.9 percent of his passes, but he has 10 touchdown passes to only three interceptions and is Nebraska’s second leading rusher with 420 yards and two touchdowns. Nebraska has 17 running plays that have produced more than 20 yards and receiver Kenny Bell is starting to heat up with a combined 175 yards in his last two games. The Cornhuskers have shown to be one of the scarier offensive teams in the country. Defensively, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are allowing 331.6 yards per game and have forced seven turnovers and 12 sacks. Nate Gerry leads Nebraska with 30 tackles and Randy Gregory has 4.5 sacks.
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The Michigan State Spartans need this win to prove they’re still an elite football team worthy of a possible playoff spot. For the first time in a while, Michigan State has a balanced offense led by quarterback Connor Cook, who has thrown for at least two touchdowns in each game and is completing 69.2 percent of his passes. Cook’s improvement at quarterback has helped MSU average 50.3 points per game, a number that wouldn’t have been realistic entering this season. Of course, the Spartans bread and butter remains their running game that’s averaging 5.1 yards per carry mainly thanks to Jeremy Langford and Nick Hill. Michigan State is a lot more than an elite defense, which hasn’t been the case in a while. Defensively, the Michigan State Spartans are allowing 289 yards per game and have forced 12 turnovers and 15 sacks. RJ Williamson leads Michigan State with 19 tackles and Marcus Rush has four tackles for loss.
The Cornhuskers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Spartans are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall. The Cornhuskers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
Usually I like to go with the elite defensive team that’s playing a one dimensional offense. However, Nebraska is no joke at running the football and has one of the best backs in the country in Ameer Abdullah. This is going to be a hell of a ball game between two of the better teams in the Big Ten, and I have no choice but to take the free points on the table. Nebraska should keep this within single digits and will have a shot to win late.