This year’s Rose Bowl match-up is not what most envisioned when the season kicked off, but it is a good one nonetheless as No. 4 Michigan State battles No. 5 Stanford in the January 1st postseason contest. The Spartans and Cardinal are scheduled to take the field at 5:00pm ET; the game will be broadcast live on ESPN. The opening Rose Bowl Betting Line 2014 has David Shaw’s Cardinal listed as a -4 college football odds favorite to win the “Granddaddy of Them All”.
No. 4 Michigan State Spartans vs No. 5 Stanford Cardinal (-4): Michigan State certainly has no complaints about its Rose Bowl appearance, after all, most pundits thought the team would finish third in the Big Ten Legends Division, but, in reality, the Spartans are a couple of bad calls away from an undefeated record. Had Mark Dantonio’s troops not been on the receiving end of some horrendous pass interference penalties in their September 21st meeting with Notre Dame, they may well being playing opposite Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game.
The Spartans situation is what is, though, and it is, indeed, a good one. Michigan State was not a favorite to reach the Big Ten Championship Game and it was anywhere from a five to six point underdog to Ohio State when it got there. The Spartans, however, found plenty of success through the air against the Buckeyes, throwing for 304 yards while they completely shut down the Ohio State passing game. The Buckeyes completed just 8-of-23 passes for 101 yards in the 34-24 loss.
Michigan State will probably employ a similar formula when it battles Stanford next month. The Cardinal, like the Buckeyes, feature a punishing rushing attack, but if the Spartans can make them completely one dimensional, as they did Ohio State, they could experience comparable results.
Nonetheless, it could be argued Stanford, despite having one more loss than Ohio State, is a better team than the Buckeyes, presenting the Spartans with their most difficult challenge to date. A number of the offenses the Cardinal faced this year are superior to Michigan State’s unit, which means Dantonio’s crew will probably need an incredible defensive effort to get the school’s first Rose Bowl victory since 1988. Fortunately for the Spartans, incredible defensive efforts are what they specialize in.
Notable Trends: Michigan State is 3-2 straight up and 4-1 against the spread in its last five games as an underdog with a spread between 4 and 7.5 points.
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Rose Bowl Betting Line 2014: Provided by Sportsbook.ag
No. 4 Michigan State Spartans +4 (-110)
No. 5 Stanford Cardinal -4 (-110)