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Cotton Bowl Predictions: Michigan State vs Alabama

It’s going to be one heck of a game. You’re probably in for a preview of he 2015 National Championship. Keep reading for a preview of this game.

Michigan State Spartans vs Alabama Crimson Tide

  • Time: Thursday, December 31, 2015 8:00 PM ET
  • Place: AT&T Stadium

Spartans Betting Analysis

This offense isn’t going to choke in this game. It’s not going to commit silly penalties and disappointing turnovers. It’s going to focus and perform well, as they have, and attempt to control the clock, converting on third down opportunities.

It might not be a game that they dominate on offense, Alabama is a great defensive team, so you shouldn’t expect them to have 22-play, minute drenching drives such as they had against the Hawkeyes. But, they might have enough of an edge to keep the Alabama offense off the field.

Crimson Tide Betting Analysis

No matter how good Derrick Henry is, Alabama might fare better in turning to their passing game. Michigan State’s run defense is simply fantastic. In fact, against opposing offenses, only Air Force was able to run the ball against them for more than 200 yards. They’ll without a doubt be ready to take on Alabama and slow Henry down.

However the Spartans have a chink in their secondary, one that Jake Coker can exploit. The Spartans have allowed 200 yards or more in four of the last six games and in eight times throughout this season. Now, while this is probably due to that its run defense is so good, it doesn’t make the secondary any better.

While the Spartans defense might come up with a few picks, Jake Coker can set up big plays, remaining behind a strong offensive line and score on more opportunities.

It gets better on defense. Alabama is spectacular in its pass rush and it can wreak havoc in the Spartans offense which will want to control the clock with long drives and conversions on third down opportunities.

Betting Trends

  • Michigan State is 5-1-1 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Michigan State is 16-1 SU in its last 17 games
  • Alabama is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Alabama is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

Betting Analysis: Each team will have to grind it out in this game. Michigan State will vie for controlling the clock and Alabama will have to work to set up the pass.

The Spartans do have what it takes to take on the Tide. They’ve proved this point against Ohio State. However, Alabama doesn’t have a shortness of coaching knowledge that can figure out Michigan’s strategy and counter.

Perhaps, the difference will come down to Alabama’s running game. No matter how good MSU’s run defense is, Henry will rack up enough yards to control the flow of the game. Alabama will win.

Betting Line: The Alabama Crimson Tide is the favorite by 10 points; the over/under total is 45.5. 

My Pick: Though the Crimson Tide is the favorite, I don’t see them covering the spread, the best bet is the Spartans at +10 they’ll keep it close enough to cover.