SPOOKY EXPRESS BOWLING FOR DOLLARS SELECTION AND ANALYSIS THREAD
Georgia vs. Michigan State
Monday, January 2, 1:00 pm
Are they focused and ready? How about interested in this game? Those are some of the most important questions for this year’s Outback Bowl.Both Michigan State and Georgia played in their respective conference title games with each given more than a fair chance to go BCS bowling with a potential win. Sparty was tantalizingly close to beating Wisconsin and just missed out on the Rose Bowl. Georgia gave itself a great chance to beat LSU, but, like most teams against the nation’s top program, they faded late and the Tigers pulled away in the second half. Now it seems the team most willing to be here and put aside their last loss will be the one most equipped to win the Outback Bowl. This phenomenon is commonly known as the hangover effect: who is going to still be thinking about their potential spot in the BCS that was lost last month? Who is really to finish the year on a high and score a very quality win against an equally quality opponent?
Despite Georgia’s loss to LSU, the Bulldogs flourished at the end of the season. The Dawgs won nine of their last 10 games, including going 7-3 against the spread during that stretch. The main reason for their success was the dominant play of quarterback Aaron Murray. His game improved tremendously over the last couple of seasons, and now it appears he is ready to leap near the front of the list for next year’s Heisman.
Michigan State does it with defense. The Spartans allowed more than 21 points just four times all season. And similar to Georgia, Michigan State got great, efficient play from its own starting quarterback with Kirk Cousins tossing 24 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.Both teams come in with 10-3 records. Each also turned in winning seasons against the spread. And, quite frankly, the statistical numbers couldn’t be more similar between the two which you have seen with the power rankings that I put out almost 2 weeks ago.
In my opinion this is one of the best matchups of the entire bowl season. And the possible hangover from each team’s last game makes it all the more interesting trying to figure out a winner. For my money, Aaron Murray is playing too well, even considering the stingy defensive unit he will oppose in this clash. I don’t see any real edge in this game being played in Tampa, as both schools will have strong fan bases. This game very well may come down to a field goal, so the number could hold up in a close game. But I will side with SEC over the Big Ten. Stop me if you’ve heard that one before. The Dawgs make it count late and I have Georgia winning this game by a field goal. So based on that the early lean is to Georgia but again as the pointspread changes so can my opinion.
GEORGIA PK (moneyline) (Opinion)
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