Cotton Bowl NCAAF Betting Lines & Overview
The second College Football Playoff semifinal takes place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, as the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic features the Michigan State Spartans (11-1) and the Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) at 8:00pm Eastern time on December 31. The Crimson Tide are favored by 10 points, and the over/under total for this game is 49 points. The lone Alabama loss came against Ole Miss, as the Rebels converted a couple of unlikely plays for scores to take the win. The Spartans’ only setback came at Nebraska, as Michigan State finished the season strong with wins at Ohio State and against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship. Click here for NCAAF betting lines.
— Cotton Bowl Classic (@CottonBowlGame) December 29, 2015
Why should you take the Crimson Tide (-10)?
The Crimson Tide have one of the best defenses in the nation, beginning with a dominant front seven that features NFL-caliber talent on the first AND second strings. The defensive line finished #2 in adjusted line yards against and #3 in adjusted sack rate. They were the only team in the nation to finish in the top 10 in both of those categories. The last time Alabama lost to a team that does not run the spread offense was in 2011, when they fell in overtime to LSU, 9-6. There are chances for MSU quarterback Connor Cook to find some holes in the secondary, but driving up and down the field will be no easy feat for the Spartans.
Why should you bet on the Spartans (+10)?
The Spartans have a terrific defense against the run — and the run is Alabama’s bread and butter on offense. Yes, Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy, but Michigan State has shut down solid running attacks all year long. The Michigan State secondary is a little bit leaky, but Alabama doesn’t throw the ball down the field. The Spartans have ground out games against their tough foes this year, and I see them doing the same thing this time against Alabama.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I think the SEC bias is once again going to trip up Alabama’s hopes in the College Football Playoff. I think that Michigan State will grind out another tough win, just like they did against Ohio State and Iowa. I’m picking them to win 20-17.