The Michigan State Spartans will look to cash in as a four-touchdown NCAAF betting favorite for the second straight week when they host the Wyoming Cowboys in a Week 5 mismatch that looks like it could get ugly by halftime.
Can the Spartans cash in as a huge favorite again or will the Cowboys cover as huge underdogs to improve their already solid ATS mark?
Let’s find out.
When: Saturday, Sept. 27
Where: Spartan Stadium
Kickoff: 12:00 PM ET
Spread: Michigan State -31.5
Week 5 NCAAF Upset Alert Analysis – Cowboys Vs. Spartans
Wyoming (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) beat Florida Atlantic 20-19 in Week 4 but failed to cash in as a 3-point home dog to snap their modest two-game ATS winning streak.
The Cowboys struggled offensively until the end of the game when they unfurled a game-winning five-play, 91-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining in regulation.
"This was a huge win for us," first-year Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said. "You couldn’t come up with a better script than this, especially the way we moved the ball down the field. Certainly it was exciting.
"Sometimes in the midst of chaos our football team shows how far they’ve come," he added. "We are maturing."
Wyoming is averaging a paltry 17.0 points per game (121st), but is ranked 76th or higher in every meaningful defensive statistical category including points allowed (23.0 ppg, 54th).
Unfortunately, the Cowboys have also lost 21 consecutive games against nationally-ranked opponents since beating Air Force way back in 2002. The Cowboys did come close to accomplishing the feat just last season when the narrowly lost to then, 18th-ranked Nebraska 37-34.
Senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard is completing just 57.0 percent of his passes and has thrown three interceptions to nearly offset the four touchdowns he’s thrown so far this season. Junior tailback Shaun Wick leads Wyoming in rushing with 404 yards and 6.1 per carry.
Wyoming becomes Michigan State's first non-conference Homecoming opponent since Penn State in 1952. #Spartans
— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) September 23, 2014
Michigan State (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) blew Eastern Michigan out of the water in its 73-14 Week 4 win to cover the spread as an insane 43.5-point home favorite two weeks after getting smacked around in its 46-27 Week 2 loss at Oregon as a 14-point rod dog.
The Spartans rushed for a whopping 336 yards while scoring seven touchdowns via the run, but head coach Mark Dantonio said he wasn’t looking to run up the score as he played mostly second- and third-string players during the second half.
"Every player we put in there we expect to play hard and that is what they did," Dantonio said. "You can’t ask them to slow down. I don’t want to run the score up on anybody, but you have to play every play to the fullest. The game went one-sided because of turnovers, I think."
Backup running back Delton Williams led the Spartans to victory by carrying 10 times for 103 yards with three touchdowns.
Dantonio said he is guarding against becoming complacent as the Spartans get set for their conference schedule following this contest.
"Our focus needs to be on getting better," Dantonio said. "We compete against ourselves as well as the opponent. We’re still trying to find out who we are a little bit as we move forward. We’re going to find out more this week. I think Wyoming is a very well-coached football team."
Game Analysis: Look, there’s no way the Spartans lose this game to an inferior team like the Cow boys, making the only question surrounding this contest whether or not the Spartans cover the spread…and I say, yes they will.
Michigan State averages 31.3 points per game more than the Cowboys and give up almost one point fewer per game defensively.
The Spartans are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games and 8-2 ATS in their L/10 games overall while Wyoming has gone 2-7 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a winning record.
My Week 5 NCAAF Upset Pick: Michigan State -31.5 Points
If you like this pick, then you should also bet on Arizona State +4 at home against UCLA this weekend.