College Football Week 12 Picks: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Michigan State Spartans

Northwestern Wildcats at Michigan State Spartans
Saturday, 11/17/12, 12:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan State -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Michigan State -7
Opening Total:  44
Current Total:  44
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Michigan State Spartans are 1-7 ATS as a favorite this season

Northwestern is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 38-31 overtime loss to the Michigan Wolverines as 8.5-point road underdogs, while going OVER the total for the first time in four contests.  “It is just disappointment,” commented Wildcats wide receiver Tony Jones after the game.  The Wildcats are capable of bouncing back, considering they’ve gone 10-6 in November over the last four seasons, while looking to lock up a .500 or better road record for the fifth consecutive campaign.  Northwestern is 2-0 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points this season.

The Wildcats are led offensively by running back Venric Mark, who has ran for 1,176 yards on the season, which is good for 10th-best on the school’s all-time single-season rushing list.  Northwestern will be focused on trying to win its first game over Michigan State since 2007, as it suffered a 31-17 loss in last year’s meeting as 5.5-point home underdogs.

Michigan State will say goodbye to a senior class has captured 33 wins, which is tied for the second most in the 116-year history of the program.  The Spartans have won four of their five Senior Day games under the direction of head coach Mark Dantonio.  In four Big Ten Conference setbacks, the team has lost by a grand total of 10 points, which includes a 28-24 loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers as one-point home favorites two weeks ago.  Michigan State is 1-7 ATS as a favorite this season, with the UNDER going 5-2 in that situation.

The Spartans last six games have been decided by four points or fewer, which is the longest such streak by a team since at least the 1996 campaign.  Michigan State has compiled a solid 12-5 record in games decided by 10 points or less over the last three seasons.  Offensively, the team relies heavily on running back Le’Veon Bell, who ranks second in the nation in carries and ninth in rushing yards.

Sports bettors will likely play the OVER in this affair, as the Spartans have gone above the total in five of their last six games following a bye week.

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