Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Odds
The Big 12 Conference’s TCU Horned Frogs (7-5) and the Big Ten Conference’s Michigan State Spartans (6-6) will do battle Saturday, Dec. 29 at 10:15 PM ET in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. ESPN has the coverage. Oddsmakers have listed TCU as a 2.5-point favorite and have set the total at 41.0.
Why TCU Covers
The Horned Frogs showed well in their season finale but ended up losing 24-17 to Oklahoma as a 6.5-point underdog. That loss shouldn’t concern TCU backers heading into this contest as Gary Patterson’s teams have had a way of bouncing back strong.
TCU is an impressive 10-1 against the spread in its last 11 games following a straight up loss and 20-6 against the spread in its last 26 games following a game in which it did not cover the number.
The Spartans became bowl eligible with a 26-10 win and cover at Minnesota in their season finale but are 0-4 against the spread in their last four games following a straight up win. They are also 1-5 against the number in their last six contests versus Big 12 Conference opponents.
TCU has been a tremendous investment in games oddsmakers expect to be close. In fact, the Horned Frogs are 14-5 against the spread under coach Patterson in games when the line is +3 to -3. They have won these games by an average score of 27.7 to 18.1.
TCU is no doubt the superior offensive team. It ranks 62nd in the nation in scoring with 29.3 points per game while Michigan State ranks 109th with 20.2 points per game. The Horned Frogs also rank 64th in total offense with 397.0 yards per contest while the Spartans rank 91st with 370.3 yards per game.
The offensive side of the football has held Michigan State back all season. The Spartans figure to have a tough time getting much of anything against a TCU stop unit that led the Big 12 and ranked 18th nationally in total defense with 332.0 yards allowed per game.
The Horned Frogs showed some some susceptibility to the pass but likely won’t be tested through the air by Michigan State junior Andrew Maxwell, who completed a Big Ten-worst 52.9 percent of his passes.
Why Michigan State Covers
The Spartans showed what they are capable of with wins over Boise state and Rose Bowl-bound Wisconsin. They easily could have won more than six games considering five of their losses came by four points or less.
Top-ranked Notre Dame is the only team to beat the Spartans by more than four points this season. Michigan State played Ohio State and Michigan to one and two-point games, respectively.
The Spartans were in just about every game this season because of a stellar stop unit that finished the regular season ranks fourth in the country with 273.2 yards allowed per game. They finished 10th in scoring defense with 16.3 points allowed per contest.
Michigan State is an impressive 8-1 against the spread in road/neutral site games when facing a team that has a winning record over the last two seasons. It has won these games by an average score of 22.8 to 19.6.
It is also worth noting that TCU is 0-7 against the spread in road/neutral field contests against non-conference opponents over the last three seasons.
I have picked Michigan State to win this game. You can see the rest of my bowl predictions by clicking here. You might also be interested in seeing what Jack Jones, Vegas Top Cappers, Brandon Lee and Carolina Sports have to say about this matchup.