Ohio State vs Michigan State Odds, Picks and Predictions: Spartans Can't Keep Pace with Stroud and Co.

The Spartans may have home-field advantage on Saturday, but MSU won't be able to score enough points against the Buckeyes' elite defense in order to match C.J. Stroud's offensive output. Read more in our Ohio State vs. Michigan State betting picks.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Oct 6, 2022 • 08:23 ET • 4 min read
C.J. Stroud Ohio State Buckeyes NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The No. 3 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes head to Lansing to face off against the Michigan State Spartans in college football action on Saturday afternoon.

The Buckeyes have rolled through the early part of their schedule while the Spartans are on a three-game skid. That disparity shows in the odds for this Big Ten showdown, with OSU installed as a whopping 26.5-point road favorite and the Over/Under sitting at 64.5.

Here are my best free college football picks and predictions for Ohio State vs. Michigan State on October 8.

Ohio State vs Michigan State best odds

Ohio State vs Michigan State picks and predictions

The Spartans opened their season with a couple of easy wins versus Western Michigan and Akron. However, since they began facing Power Five foes, their offense has been getting shut down. 

In Week 3, they lost 39-28 to Washington and scored a pair of garbage-time touchdowns to make the game look closer than it actually was. The Spartans had a modest 365 yards in that contest with 173 of those coming in the final nine minutes with the game well out of reach.

The following week, they were held to just 250 yards and seven points against Minnesota. Last Saturday, Michigan State mustered just 321 yards and 13 points versus Maryland. Now they face a Buckeyes defense that held Rutgers to just 187 yards and 10 points a week ago. 

Ohio State's defense ranks 10th in the country in the Fremeau Efficiency Index (which takes into account home-field advantage and quality of opposition) and limits foes to just 4.4 yards per play — the 11th-best mark in the FBS. 

Fade this MSU offense and take the Under 18.5 on the Spartans' team total.

My best bet: Michigan State team total Under 18.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

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Ohio State vs Michigan State spread analysis

Ohio State is off to a 5-0 start to the year and has destroyed both of the conference foes it has faced, defeating Rutgers 49-10 last Saturday following a 52-21 beatdown of Wisconsin in Week 4. 

The Spartans have dropped three games in a row and most recently lost 27-13 to the Terrapins. It's been a very disappointing season for Mel Tucker's squad which has already lost more games than all of last year when they surprisingly went 11-2. 

The offense has taken a major step back after losing All-American running back Kenneth Walker III to the NFL, and the offensive line lacks experience and depth. That line will find itself pushed around by an Ohio State front that rotates multiple five-star recruits and holds foes to just 3.3 yards per rush attempt. 

Although Spartans quarterback Payton Thorne can move the ball downfield, Michigan State's lack of balance on offense will be exposed by a Buckeyes' defense that is loaded with talent at every level.

Meanwhile, Michigan State's secondary allowed the most passing yards in the country last season and hasn't been much better this year, ranking outside the Top-100 with 275 ypg allowed through the air on 7.7 yards per pass attempt.

That's bad news against a Buckeyes' aerial attack led by Heisman favorite C.J. Stroud, who is second in the nation in QB rating (196.3) and ranks third in yards per attempt (10.3).

Ohio State vs Michigan State Over/Under analysis

Losing Walker and his 1,636 rushing yards was obviously going to hurt, but it wasn't supposed to be this much of a downgrade with the Spartans adding Jalen Berger and Jarek Broussard through the transfer portal.

However, both backs have been held in check after rumbling against Akron and WMU. Berger and Broussard have totaled just 39 carries and 116 yards on the ground over the last three games and will find it tough to find room against this tough Buckeyes' run defense. 

Ohio State's stop-unit has also been stingy against the pass, holding opposing QBs to just 6.2 yards per attempt. That said, it's worth mentioning that they've faced a trio of weak Power Five QBs with Rutgers' Evan Simon, Wisconsin's Graham Mertz, and Notre Dame's Tyler Buchner making easy prey for this swarming defense. 

Thorne is better than any of the previously mentioned passers, but he still won't be able to keep pace with this high-octane Ohio State offense that leads the country with 8.0 yards per play.

Ohio State vs Michigan State betting trend to know

The Buckeyes are 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings between these conference foes. Find more NCAA betting trends for Ohio State vs. Michigan State.

Ohio State vs Michigan State game info

Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Michigan
Date: Saturday, October 8, 2022
Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. ET

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Ohio State vs Michigan State weather

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