Michigan State vs. Oregon, RedBox Bowl: Prediction, pick, odds, line, TV, live stream, watch online
Justin Herbert will end his junior campaign in the bowl game against Michigan State
Oregon and Michigan State are set to face each other for the third time in the last five years, splitting a home-and-home series in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Each team won at home en route to winning their respective conference championship that year -- Oregon in 2014, Michigan State in 2015 -- and the all-time series between these two teams is tied 3-3.
Oregon's win in 2014 not only propelled the Ducks to a Pac-12 title and a College Football Playoff appearance but kick-started the argument for Marcus Mariota as the runaway Heisman Trophy favorite. Current Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert was the subject of one of the biggest stories of bowl season, turning down the opportunity to be a first-round NFL Draft pick in order to return to Eugene for his senior season.
Event: RedBox Bowl
Date: Monday, Dec. 31 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Levi's Stadium -- Santa Clara, Calfiornia
TV: FOX | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Michigan State: The Spartans have a top-15 defense in most major categories and led the nation in rushing defense, and that group has carried much of the load as the offense has struggled in 2018. Of the 11 Michigan State players to be named to the All-Big Ten team or honorable mention by the coaches, wide receiver Felton Davis was on the only offensive player of the group and he suffered a season-ending injury in late October. You are not going to see this year's Michigan State team running up the score, so imposing its will is imperative if the Spartans are going to win.
Oregon: Herbert is officially back, so what now? This bowl game feels like the launching-off point for the Ducks' 2019 campaign, where they will likely be stacked up against Washington and USC as contenders for the Pac-12 title. Beating Michigan State would go a long way in making that title contention seem more likely after a season where the Ducks only went 5-4 against conference opponents. Oregon beat Washington, the eventual conference champions, during a 6-1 run at home, but the inability to replicate that success on a consistent basis is in part a result of an offense that was equally inconsistent over the course of the season. Michigan State is so solid defensively that it's hard to imagine Herbert is going to light up the scoreboard, but leading the team to a win could go a long way to providing a spark for the program heading into the offseason.
Game prediction, picks
I don't like the prospect of Michigan State having extra time to prepare for Herbert. It's got the feel of a game where we all tune in to see Herbert light up the world and are underwhelmed when the Ducks win this game in the 20s. The Spartans had a good plan for Dwayne Haskins and the Ohio State passing attack, and they should feel comfortable breaking down what Herbert and Dillon Mitchell have been able to accomplish this season against Pac-12 opponents. Oregon's defense has been one of the storylines in its success this season, and I think that group shines as well. I love the under on the total, and lean Ducks on the pick. Pick: Oregon -2.5
Who wins Oregon vs. Michigan State? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you should be all over for the Redbox Bowl, all from a proven college football expert looking to move to 5-0 on Michigan State games!
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