This one is for all of the proverbial marbles (8.15pm, Saturday). #4 Iowa Hawkeyes currently holds the edge but the winner of the Big 10 Championship will almost assuredly be the one that goes to the playoff.
Iowa and #5 Michigan State (MSU) find themselves neck and neck in almost everything in a year when their conference was simply one of the best in college football. Iowa ranks 4th in SOS (strength of schedule), Michigan State 5th. Iowa ranks 11th in game control, MSU 12th. Both are also undefeated against top 25 opponents this year.
Iowa is undefeated however, with its defense ably led by Josey Jewell (pictured), whereas MSU has a loss. That’s pretty much all that separates the two teams currently. Overall, MSU has one of the best resumes in the country, but they need that Big 10 title win to creep back into the picture. In fact, a win against Iowa not only puts MSU in the playoff most likely, but it also could catapult them above Alabama or even Clemson depending on how those two games shake out.
Michigan State has benefited this year from a much improved defense and a lack of big play potential for their opponents, while Iowa’s biggest threat comes in the form of a rushing attack that has accumulated 203.7 yards per game.
- Betting Pick for Game: It’s a battle of offense vs defense and as it goes, defense normally wins. MSU has held their last three opponents under 17 points and there’s no reason to suspect they can’t do it again. They are road favorites, a place where they recently knocked off playoff hopeful and defending champion, Ohio State. Take MSU -3.5pts @ best odds of -105 with BetOnline Sportsbook to pull off yet another road win.
- Betting Pick for Total Points: We reckon to go under the total of 51 @ best odds of -105 with Bovada Sportsbook, the other bookies are also at the 51pts level but the odds are less attractive at -110.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.