Rose Bowl Betting Preview: #4 Michigan State Spartans vs #5 Stanford Cardinal

2014 Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio
#4 Michigan State Spartans vs #5 Stanford Cardinal

Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California
Wednesday, January 1, 2013, 5:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Stanford -3
Current Line: Stanford -6 1/2
Opening Total: 45
Current Total: 42 1/2
Opening Money Line: Stanford -185 / Michigan State +160
Current Money Line: Stanford -260 / Michigan State +220

Stanford is a 6.5 point favorite against Michigan State in the Rose Bowl Wednesday.
Stanford is a 6.5 point favorite against Michigan State in the Rose Bowl Wednesday.

This is the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl and they have a fantastic match-up between top 5 teams to celebrate. The 12-1 Michigan State Spartans are #4 and the 11-2 Stanford Cardinal are #5. Michigan State went 9-0 in the Big Ten and beat Ohio State 34-24 in the Big Ten Championship game. Stanford went 8-2 in the Pac 12 and beat Arizona State 38-14 in the Pac 12 Championship game. Michigan State leads the series 3-2 against Stanford, but the Cardinal have won 2 straight games in the series. Stanford won the last meeting 38-0 in the 1996 Sun Bowl, also the only previous bowl meeting between the teams.

Michigan State is 9-14 all-time in bowl games. The Spartans are playing in a bowl for the seventh straight season. Michigan State has won 2 straight bowl games including 17-16 over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Arizona last season. Before the two game winning streak, Michigan State had lost 5 straight bowl games. The Spartans are 3-1 in their previous Rose Bowl appearances but haven’t played in Pasadena since 1988.

Stanford is 11-12-1 all-time in bowl games. The Cardinal are playing in their 5th straight bowl game overall, and fourth straight BCS game . Stanford beat Wisconsin 20-14 in last year’s Rose Bowl. The Cardinal are 6-6-1 in their previous 13 Rose Bowl games.

Michigan State is coached by Mark Dantonio. The only loss for the Spartans came at Notre Dame 17-13. Michigan State has won 9 straight games since that game. The Spartans have home wins over Western Michigan 26-13, South Florida 21-6, Youngstown State 55-17, Indiana 42-28, Purdue 14-0, Michigan 29-6, and Minnesota 14-3, along with road wins over Iowa 26-14, Illinois 42-3, Nebraska 41-28, and Northwestern 30-6. Michigan State is 8-4-1 ATS and the total is 5-8 this season. The Spartans were 5.5 point underdogs against Ohio State in  the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis and the total was 53.5.

Michigan State is outscoring teams 30-13 this season. The Spartans are #4 nationally in points allowed. On offense, Michigan State is averaging 384.6 total yards per game including 182.2 rushing yards and 202.5 passing yards. The Spartans are #82 in total offense and #91 in passing out of 125 teams in FBS. On defense, MSU is allowing 247.8 yards per game including 167.4 passing and 80.5 rushing yards. The Spartans lead the nation in total and rushing defense and are #4 against the pass. Michigan State is +14 in turnovers with 27 takeaways. The Spartans are averaging 52 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 46. MSU is 100/216 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 59/208. The Spartans have forced 31 sacks and allowed 13 this season. Michigan State is 37/46 scoring in the red zone with 26 touchdowns, and opponents are 21/27 with 13 touchdowns. The Spartans have 5 defensive touchdowns this season.

Michigan State has used 3 quarterbacks this season. Connor Cook has completed 58.4% of his passes for 2,423 yards with 20 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 63 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown. Andrew Maxwell has thrown for 114 yards with no touchdowns or picks, and also has a few carries for minimal yardage. Freshman Tyler O’Connor has also taken a few snaps this season.

Running back Jeremy Langford has 269 carries, 1,338 yards and 17 touchdowns, along with 23 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. Nick Hill has 67 carries, 344 yards and a touchdown, along with 3 catches. Delton Williams and R.J. Shelton will also get some carries.

Receiver MacGarrett Kings Jr. has 39 catches, 461 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bennie Fowler has 34 catches for 525 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 25 rushing yards. Aaron Burbridge has 22 catches for 194 yards. Tony Lippett has 39 catches for 519 yards and a touchdown. Keith MacGarrett has 3 touchdown catches and Josiah Price has four. Receiver A.J. Troupe is out for the season. Linebackers Jon Reschke is questionable with a foot injury. Another linebacker Max Bullough is suspended after violating team rules. He is also the team captain and the best player on the defense.

Stanford is coached by David Shaw. The Cardinal have road losses at Utah 27-21 and at USC 20-17. Stanford has home wins over San Jose State 34-13, Arizona State 42-28, Washington 31-28, UCLA 24-10, Oregon 26-20, California 63-13 and Notre Dame 27-20, along with road wins at Army 34-20, Washington State 55-17 and Oregon State 20-12. The Cardinal are 7-6 ATS and the total is 5-8 this season. Stanford was a 3 point favorite against Arizona State and the total was 52.5.

Stanford is outscoring teams 33-19 this season. The Cardinal are #9 in points allowed nationally and #38 in scoring. The Cardinal are averaging 413.5 yards per game on offense including 202.2 passing and 211.4 rushing yards. The Cardinal are #92 in passing and #22 in rushing nationally out of 125 FBS teams. On defense, Stanford is allowing 339.5 total yards per game, including 247.8 passing yards and 91.7 rushing yards. The Cardinal are #3 in rush defense and #15 in total defense, but the pass defense is #89 nationally. Stanford is -1 in turnovers with 17 takeaways. Stanford is 102/196 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 77/219. Stanford averages 44 penalty yards per game and opponents average 48. The Cardinal have forced 40 sacks and allowed 15 this season. Stanford is 44/49 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns and opponents are 29/39 with 19 touchdowns. The Cardinal have two pick sixes this season and 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns, and have allowed one fumble return for a touchdown.

Stanford QB Kevin Hogan has completed 61.4% of his passes for 2,487 yards with 20 touchdowns and 9 picks, along with 76 carries for 314 yards and 2 touchdowns. Back-up Evan Crower has thrown for 141 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Tyler Gaffney has 306 carries, 1,618 yards and 20 touchdowns, along with 14 catches, 88 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Wilkerson has 84 carries, 353 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 5 catches for 38 yards.

Receiver Ty Montgomery has 58 catches, 937 yards and 10 touchdowns, plus two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Montgomery also has 13 carries for 159 rushing yards nad two touchdowns.  Devon Cajuste has 27 catches, 591 yards and 5 touchdowns. Michael Rector has 12 catches for 387 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kodi Whitfield has 16 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. Three defensive players are listed on the injury report including 2 defensive ends.

Stanford is 4-0 ATS in bowl games and in neutral site games, 26-9-1 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 22-8-1 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 11-4 in non-conference games, 21-8 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 36-14-1 after a straight up win, 20-8-1 after a cover, 35-16-1 overall, 34-16-1 on grass, and 2-5 after allowing less than 20 points.

Michigan State is 4-0 ATS in neutral site games, 5-1 after a straight up win and overall, 18-6-2 after allowing 170 passing yards or less, 13-5-1 after a cover, 18-7-1 against teams with winning records, 5-11-1 on grass, 7-24 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, 1-4 after passing for 280 yards or more, and 0-4 against Pac 12 teams.

These are two of the most physical teams in the country, and bettors should expect a hard hitting defensive battle. Stanford is slightly better on offense, but I don’t know if they can move the ball against the Spartan defense. The loss of Bullough hurts obviously, but there is still a lot of talent for MSU. Stanford struggles against the pass, but Michigan State runs more than they pass. I like the under in this game, as I feel these teams are evenly matched.

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