Big Ten College Football Picks: (4) Ohio St. Buckeyes at (25) Michigan St. Spartans

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Ohio St. at Mich St.

Time: 6:30 PM CST, Saturday (ABC)

Spread: OSU -20

Total: 50

Odds c/o 5dimes

The No. 4 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes are 5-0 after defeating Nebraska 48-7 in Week 5. The Buckeyes take to the road to face Michigan State at 6:30 PM CST on ABC as 20-point favorites. The over/under is set at 50 total points according to NCAA Football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.


Ohio State was absolutely dominant with its win over the unranked Cornhuskers last week. It led 38-0 at the half, and it outscored Nebraska 10-7 in a fairly meaningless second half. Justin Fields completed 15 of 21 for 212 yards and three touchdowns, and the Buckeyes picked up another three touchdowns via the rush. JK Dobbins rushed for 177 yards on 24 carries, and Master Teague III had 77 yards on 12 carries with two of the there touchdowns. Fields scored the other TD with his 72 yards on 12 carries. Ohio State averaged nearly seven yards-per-rush in the game and it was good for 14.1 yards per pass completion.

The Buckeyes had five receivers with 25 yards or more but were led by Austin Mack’s 66 yards and a touchdown on three catches.

KJ Hill had the team-lead in receptions (five) and managed 39 yards and a touchdown on those catches. Ohio State ranks No. 56 in pass offense at 254.0 yards per game, but it maintains the nation’s seventh-best rush attack at 281.6 yards per game. The Buckeyes average 52.4 points per game (No. 3) while allowing just 8.6 thus far per game. It is typical Buckeyes dominance over its typically soft schedule, but this represents Ohio State’s first matchup against another ranked team in Week 6, and it is the No. 25 ranked Spartans of MSU.

Ohio State will face No. 8 Wisconsin in two weeks in what should be a much more season-defining game. It closes the season with a pair of ranked opponents, too, with now-No. 12 Penn State and No. 19 Michigan serving as the concluding weeks of the Buckeyes’ 2019 regular-season schedule. If things continue to go according to plan, the Buckeyes sneak into the top-4 this season after missing out last year despite going undefeated.


Michigan State is 4-1 and finds itself ranked No. 25 after defeating Northwestern and Indiana in back-to-back weeks. Its lone loss was a 7-10 defeat from Arizona State in Week 3, with Weeks 1 and 2 being wins over Tulsa and Western Michigan (and neither contest being close). The Spartans rank No. 60 in scoring offense at 31.4 points per game, but its defense has been outstanding in limiting opponents to just 15.0 points per game. The offense has been bolstered by a No .44 ranked pass offense that generates 269 yards per game, but the Spartans are getting just 144.6 from the rush and rank No. 84 in that regard.

Michigan State starting quarterback Brian Lewerke has been outstanding. He has thrown for over 1.3k yards on the season with 10 touchdowns and just one pick. His 59.8 percent completion ranks merely average, but he has been effective via the rush too. His 147 yards rank No. 2 in rushing yardage and he averages 4.0 yards-per-carry on his No. 2 on the team, 38 attempts. Lead rusher Elijah Collins has been strong with 5.3 yards-per-attempt and three touchdowns. No other backfield options are really producing much.

Wide receiver Darrell Stewart Jr. has led the team in catches (35), yardage (556), and is tied for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns. Tight ends Matt Seybert and Matt Dodson has combined to eclipse 200 yards on the season with four touchdowns between them. Tight end plays are a highly featured part of the Spartans attack and both Seybert and Dodson have the hands to make it work.

Michigan State has been so good defensively, but now it approaches one of the most well-rounded offenses in college football: What can the Michigan State defense manage to do against Fields and company?

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