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Stanford vs. Michigan St. Free Pick – Odds & ROSE BOWL Predictions

Stanford vs Michigan State NCAAF Handicapping

The 100th edition of the annual Rose Bowl game gets underway on Wednesday night with No. 5 Stanford taking on No. 4 Michigan who appears in the game for the first time in nearly three decades.

Date: Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Time: 5 p.m. EST
Venue: Rose Bowl
City: Pasadena
O/U Odds: 42.5
Spread: +5.5 Michigan State

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Meanwhile, the Cardinal will be playing in a BCS bowl for the fourth straight season while making its 14th Rose Bowl appearance, and looking for its second straight win in the game after beating Wisconsin in Pasadena last season.

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Stanford (11-2) will look to use its defense to control the tempo in this one, which ranks 14th overall, third at stopping the run (91.2), and tied for the national lead with 40 sacks, many of which come from the strong play of outside linebacker Trent Murphy, who leads the nation with 14.

The Cardinal also possesses a strong secondary, but the real muscle is their running game.

Led by standout running back Tyler Gaffney, who has 1,618 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season, the Cardinal excel at pounding the opposition’s front line. And while Gaffney fuels the offense with 306 carries, quarterback Kevin Hogan has thrown for 20 touchdowns on 2,487 yards against nine interceptions for a dual threat offense that produces 33.2 points per game.

The Cardinal will however, be tested by the Spartans, who leads the nation in total defense (247.8) and in rushing defense (80.8), allowing a fourth best 12.7 points per game.

Michigan State (12-1) cornerback Darqueze Dennard, winner of the 2013Thorpe Award, is poised to have a big day.
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Surrounded by a myriad of standout defenders, such as safety Kurtis Drummond, linebacker Denicos Allen and end Shilique Calhoun, the Spartans will aim to stop Gaffney on their way to topping a school record for win in a single season with the MSU’s fourth Rose Bowl win in program history.

They will however, be without defensive leader middle linebacker Max Bullough who will miss the game after being suspended.

Offensively, the Spartans are scoring 29.8 points per game with running back Jeremy Langford leading the way.

Langford has dashed for 1,338 yards and 17 touchdowns, while quarterback Connor Cook has thrown for 2,423 yards and 20 touchdowns against just five interceptions.

Matt’s Free Prediction

Defense will set the tone in this one and in a game featuring two of the best, special teams may play a factor in the outcome of this one.

Stanford receiver/returner Ty Montgomery could shine in this one.

Montgomery averaged 31.2 yards and scored two touchdowns on kickoff returns.

Stanford 21, Michigan State 17


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About Matt Martz

Matt has returned to CappersPicks.com. The pull was too great. He missed providing his free picks and insider sports gambling analysis to his loyal readers. Please take it easy on him till he gets back into his groove. Cheers!