Las Vegas Odds on Wisconsin Badgers at Michigan State Spartans
Saturday, October 22, 2011
by Bodog Sportsbook
The college game of the weekend takes place in East Lansing, with ESPN’s College GameDay in attendance (first time in six years), when Michigan State Spartans hosts Wisconsin Badgers on Homecoming in a battle of Big Ten division leaders and a game with national championship implications for the Badgers. UW opened as an 8-point favorite on Bodog Sportsbook’s NCAA football Las Vegas Odds.
Wisconsin lost only once last season on the way to a co-Big Ten title and Rose Bowl trip and that came in East Lansing to these Spartans. MSU ended up tied with UW and Ohio State for the Big Ten crown but got squeezed out of a BCS bowl.
This should be a fascinating matchup as Wisconsin leads the nation in scoring at 50.2 points per game, has the nation’s top-rated passer in Russell Wilson and a Top-10 rushing attack behind Montee Ball and James White. Wisconsin has outscored six opponents by a total of 301-58, but this will be the Badgers’ first true road game. Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in points, rushing yards (257.5), passing yards (265.7) and total yards (523.1).
Michigan State counters with the Big Ten's top rush defense (67.0 ypg, No. 3 in nation), passing defense (119.2, No. 1 in nation) and total defense (186.2, No. 4 in nation). State has 21 sacks (including 16 in the last two weeks). However, the Spartans will be without one of the best players on that unit, end William Gholston. He was suspended a game by the Big Ten for punching a Michigan lineman last week.
No. 16 Michigan State (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) has a half-game lead over Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa in the loss column of the Legends Division standings. No. 6 Wisconsin (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) and Penn State are the only remaining unbeaten teams in conference play in the Leaders Division. The winners of those divisions play in the first Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 3.
This will be only the fourth matchup between these two when both are ranked; last season they were when MSU won 34-24. In that one, Spartans WR B.J. Cunningham caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins on fourth-and-goal with 2:43 remaining in the game to seal the victory. Since losing that game, Wisconsin has won nine straight Big Ten games by an average of 29.5 points.
Sparty has won the past three in this series at home and 11 straight overall at Spartan Stadium. No team in this series has won on the road since 2002.
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