Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Odds
The Michigan State Spartans (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) take on the TCU Horned Frogs (7-5, 4-5 Big 12) in the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday, December 29th. You can watch this contest on ESPN at 10:15 EST as it’s the finale of the five bowl games schedule for that day. Taking a look at the odds in Las Vegas, I find a line of TCU -2.5 over Michigan State and a total set of 41 points.
Why TCU Covers
The Horned Frogs have the better offense in this one. They put up 29.3 points per game this season while ranking 61st in the country in total offense at 397.0 yards per game. Michigan State is scoring just 20.2 points per game while ranking 87th in total offense at 370.3 yards per game.
They lost their three offensive stars from last season in Kirk Cousins, B.J. Cunningham and Keshawn Martin. “We lost 95 percent of our passing offense from last year, whether it be the quarterback, two tight ends, three wide receivers and a tailback as well,” coach Mark Dantonio said. “So our guys came in inexperienced.”
Junior Andrew Maxwell threw for 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions and was inconsistent while replacing Cousins. His receiving corps also struggled, with drops among the reasons he completed a Big Ten-worst 52.9 percent of his passes.
Michigan State has had to rely heavily on a rushing attack that revolves around Le’Veon Bell. TCU has proven it can stop the run as it ranks 10th in the country in rushing defense, allowing just 103.9 yards per game and 3.3 per carry on the ground.
The Horned Frogs lost their final game of the regular season to Oklahoma by a final of 17-24. However, that works in their favor heading into this one considering they are 10-1 against the spread in their lst 11 games following a S.U. loss.
Why Michigan State Covers
Michigan State is one of the most underrated teams in the country heading into the bowl season. It simply did not get the breaks to go its way in close games this season. I have no doubt that this team is better than its 6-6 record would indicate.
Five of the Spartans’ six losses came by 4 points or less, and those five losses came by a combined 13 points. The other setback came against Notre Dame, which was the only team that went unbeaten this season. As you know, the Fighting Irish will be playing for the BCS National Championship.
The Spartans are the stronger defensive team. Their stop unit kept them in basically every game they played this season with a chance to win. They allowed just 16.3 points per game this season while ranking 4th in the country in total defense at 273.2 yards per game. Nothing comes easy against this D as it ranks 8th against the run (100.4 yards/game) and 8th against the pass (174.1 yards/game).
Michigan State played its best football on the road this season. It went 4-1 straight up and 4-1 against the spread in games played away from home. Its defense limited the opposition to just 13.8 points per game on the road this year.
The Spartans are 8-1 against the spread in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons. TCU is 0-7 against the spread in road games in non-conference games over the last 3 seasons. The Horned Frogs are 0-5 against the spread in their last 5 neutral site games.
I have selected TCU to win this bowl game. Check out the rest of my bowl predictions by clicking this link. You may also be interested in who Jimmy Boyd, Carolina Sports, Vegas Top Cappers, and Brandon Lee have taken to win the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.