Rose Bowl Odds
The No. 4 Michigan State Spartans (12-1) are set to face off against the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal (11-2) in the 2014 Rose Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for Wednesday Jan 1 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena and will be televised nationally on ESPN. The Spartans went a perfect 8-0 in Big Ten play and would go on to defeat previously unbeaten Ohio State in the championship game. The Cardinal suffered two losses in the Pac-12, but thanks to the Ducks losing at Arizona late in the year, Stanford was able to defend their title with a convincing 38-14 win over Arizona State.
For those of you looking to place a wager on this game, oddsmakers currently have the Cardinal favored by 4.5-points.
Why Michigan State Will Cover:
The Spartans have been flying under the radar for quite some time and yet a win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game doesn’t seem to have changed the fact. Michigan State didn’t just go undefeated in conference play, they won every game they played by double-digits. Not to say they should be favored against Stanford, though I wouldn’t disagree, 4.5 points is a lot in a matchup between two strong defensive teams.
Statistically the Cardinals have the better offense of the two teams, but when it comes to which offense will have more success against the opposing defense, it’s hard to not like the Spartans. Michigan State is 1st against the run (80.8 ypg) and 6th vs the pass (167.4 ypg). Stanford on the other hand is 3rd against the run (91.2 ypg), but a very mediocre 80th vs the pass (247.8 ypg). This game will more than likely come down to the play of the two starting quarterbacks, and it’s hard to not like the Spartans sophomore signal caller Connor Cook. He’s completed 58% of his attempts for 2,423 with 20 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. Most importantly, he’s got better as the season has went on. Cook also stepped up in the spotlight, throwing for a career-high 304 yards with three touchdowns in the win over Ohio State.
There’s a solid system favoring the Spartans based off how these two teams stack up on the field. After 7+ games, good offensive teams that average 390 to 440 yards/game (Stanford) against a dominant defense that allows 280 or fewer yards/game are just 39-76 (33.9%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Adding to this is the fact that Michigan State is 7-0 ATS in their last 7 road games vs a team with a winning record and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs teams who allow 120 or fewer rushing yards/game and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs teams who average 31 or more points/game.
Michigan State is 7-0 ATS in their last 7 road games vs a team with a winning record and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs teams who allow 120 or fewer rushing yards/game and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs teams who average 31 or more points/game.
Why Stanford Will Cover:
The Cardinal have been a model of consistency over the last four years in the Pac-12. During this stretch Stanford has compiled a 46-7 record. Usually when a team who has demostrated this much dominance starts to become a bad team to back against the spread. That hasn’t been the case at all. The Cardinal are 26-13 ATS in all games over the last three seasons.
One of the things you have to take into consideration in bowl games is the strength of the two conferences that the team played in. I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Pac-12 was stronger than the Big 10. The same Arizona State team that the Cardinal just demolished for a second time this season, knocked off one of the top Big Ten teams in Wisconsin earlier this season. The other key here is that Michigan State’s only loss this season came against Notre Dame, the same Fighting Irish team that Stanford just recently beat 27-20.
There’s a system in play favoring the Cardinal to cover the 4.5 point spread. It tells us to fade underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points off two straight conference wins against an opponent off a double digit road win. This system is 41-12 (77.4%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
Fade underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points off two straight conference wins against an opponent off a double digit road win. This system is 41-12 (77.4%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
Stanford is a team that just seems to alway exceed expectations against the best teams. The Cardinal are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games vs a team with a winning percentage of 75% or better, 9-1 ATS in their last 10 road games vs a team who is outscoring their opponents by 10+ points/game and 15-4 ATS in their last 19 games vs excellent defenses that are allowing 4.25 or fewer yards/play.
Early Lean – Michigan State +4.5