College Football Week 4 Picks: Michigan State Spartans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Michigan State Spartans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Saturday, 9/21/13, 3:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Notre Dame -6
Current Betting Line: Notre Dame -6.5
Opening Total: 43
Current Total: 41
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Michigan State ranks second among opponents in all-time victories over Notre Dame, with only the USC Trojans having more. The Spartans are off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2010 and the third time under seventh-year head coach Mark Dantonio, which is important to consider when making your college football expert picks Saturday afternoon. Through three games, the program’s defense ranks No. 1 in the FBS in total defense and pass efficiency defense, while also ranking among the leaders in opponent third-down conversions. Michigan State is 3-0 SUATS on the road with a betting total of 42 or less, with the UNDER cashing in each of those contests.
The Spartans have compiled a 47-17 record against non-conference foes since 1999, including a 24-9 mark under Dantonio. Michigan State’s defensive prowess shouldn’t be very surprising, considering it’s one of just five schools in the country to rank among the Top 10 nationally in total defense the past two seasons. The unit returned five players who received All-Big Ten recognition during the 2012 campaign, with senior linebacker Max Bullough being the player to watch.
Notre Dame has alternated wins and losses in its first three games, as it comes off a less-than-impressive 31-24 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers as 17-point road favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total for a second consecutive contest. The Fighting Irish have played 18 games decided by a touchdown or less since the arrival of head coach Brian Kelly in South Bend—going 2-5 in the first seven games, but putting together a 10-1 record since. Notre Dame is 2-0 SUATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 7 points the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER cashing in each of those opportunities.
The Fighting Irish have won nine consecutive games at Notre Dame Stadium, but haven’t put together a 10-game winning streak at the venue since 1997-99. Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees ranks seventh in the FBS in passing yards, while he’s registered seven completions of at least 32 yards. Defensively, the school has allowed the fewest rushing touchdowns in the country over the last 33 games—one less than Alabama.
Sports bettors will likely back the Spartans due to their 8-1 ATS mark in their last nine games away from Spartan Stadium.
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