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Free Picks: #8 Michigan St. vs. #5 Baylor Gambling Lines & Handicapping Preview


College Bowl betting action sees the #8 Michigan State Spartans taking on the #5 Baylor Bears in Arlington, Texas. Cappers Picks provides free NCAA Football handicapping tips all season long.

Friends off the field, Quarterbacks Connor Cook and Bryce Petty become enemies for one day when the Spartans and Bears meet in the Cotton Bowl Classic on New Years Day.

NCAA Football Odds

Michigan State Spartans (10-2) vs. Baylor Bears (11-1)
Thursday, January 1
12:30 PM ET
AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
College Football Betting Lines: Baylor -3
College Football O/U: 70
***2014 CFB BONUSES***

Click here to view… ATS Stats & Expert NCAA Betting Prediction Insight!

After getting passed over for a chance to play in the BCS Playoff, getting to take on the Spartans is a solid consolation prize for Baylor.

Michigan State

A slip up against Ohio State costed the Spartans any chance at getting themselves into the top 4 of the standings. Michigan State has ran off 3 straight wins since their loss to Ohio State and come in feeling pretty good about themselves when they get to take on the Baylor Bears New Years Day. The #8 Spartans dropped only two games this season which came at the hands of #4 Ohio State and #2 Oregon.

Grabbing a signature win against the #5 team in the country would be a nice way for Michigan State to end their 2014-2015 campaign.

While the Spartans continued their season to season trend of dominant defensive play, Michigan State surprisingly was one of the best scoring teams in the nation. Michigan State scored 43.1 points a game (7th) and put up nearly 500 yards of offense a game with 496.5 yards a game. Led by QB Connor Cook and RB Jeremy Langford, Michigan State got a combined 41 touchdowns from the duo.

While the offense had no trouble finding the end zone, the defense typically prevented the opposition from entering it in 2014. Michigan State allowed just 19.9 points a game (14th) and held opponents under that mark 8 times.

Away from home this season, Michigan State went 4-1 with the loss coming against Oregon.


Baylor can strike at anytime when Bryce Petty and company are on the field. While the Bears feel like they should have been included as one of the top 4 teams in the country, a trap loss at the hands of West Virginia costed them a chance at competing for the National Title this season. That being said, a date with Michigan State is nothing to hang their heads about.

Baylor’s offensive numbers are quite impressive. The Bears are the best in the nation in scoring with 48.8 points a game. Bryce Petty averages 346.2 pass yards a game (5th) and combined with his legs and RB Shock Linwood, the Bears averaged 235.2 yards on the ground per game (23rd). Baylor scored over 60 points 4 times in the 2014 regular season.

Like Michigan State, the Bears have a threatening offensive attack and a stellar defense to lean back on. Baylor’s defense allows just 24.2 points a game (39th) and 367.7 yards against. Baylor allowed 14 points or less 5 times in the regular season.

Following the hiccup in West Virginia, Baylor has ran off a string of 6 wins, 2 of which coming against ranked opponents.

NCAA Football Handicapping Trends:

  • Bears are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games.
  • Bears are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
  • Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
  • Spartans are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
  • Spartans are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big 12.

Free 4* NCAA Football Pick: Michigan State +3

While this has the possibility of being a shoot out, whichever defense can win the turnover battle should come out on top in this one.

Michigan State 38, Baylor 29

Expect the Big 10 to stand up tall and take out Big 12 powerhouse Baylor in the Cotton Bowl.

Check out our Updated College Football Bowl Game Odds.

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About Tony M

Tony is new to Cappers Picks and has been betting on sports since the first day he turned 18. He is a 22 year old Cleveland native who lives and breathes Indians baseball. His dream is to be part of a championship celebration at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.