Holiday Bowl Spread: 2017 College Football Bowl Odds, Prediction

Jeremy Perry | Updated Dec 23, 2017

NCAA Football: Michigan State

This showdown is a contrast of styles as the Cougars are going to try to make this a high-scoring affair while the Spartans are going to keep this a conservative, low-scoring game.

December 28, 2017, 9:00 PM ET
SDCCU Stadium
Pointspread +2.5 -105
Moneyline +120
Over / Under o +48


Betting Action


Pointspread -2.5 -115
Moneyline -140
Over / Under u +48


Betting Action


Washington State and Michigan State had very similar seasons: they both earned signature wins against ranked teams early in the year but each lost three times to quality opponents and finished 9-3.

Cougars vs. Spartans Spread and Betting Analysis

Washington State opened up as a three-point favorite in this game but the line has gone down from open. At press time, the game sits at a PICK as the bets have come in on Michigan State. The total opened at 45 and sits at 46.

Washington State is 5-2 both straight up and against the spread against teams with a winning record this season. They are also 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games where the line was between +3 to -3. Michigan State was just 3-3 ATS this season against teams above .500.

Washington State Cougars

Last year, Washington State was a heavy favorite in the Holiday Bowl over a Minnesota team which had several players suspended. Yet, Washington State’s passing game never got on track and the Cougars suffered a highly frustrating loss. This year, Washington State is back in the Holiday Bowl, but this time the Cougars are the team with the suspended players. They’ll be without its top two receivers, Tavares Martin and Isaiah Johnson-Mack.

The key to this game will be the Cougars getting their passing game going. Sparty allowed just 13 passing touchdowns but they’re a Big Ten team. They don’t see many prolific passing games like this. The Cougars ranked third in country in passing offense and while the Spartans have a solid defense, they only generated 28 sacks (40th in nation). If Luke Falk is given time to throw, he’ll find his targets and score. The Spartans would love to keep this as a low-scoring, grind-it-out type of game but Washington State can put them in an uncomfortable position by getting and playing with a lead.

Michigan State Spartans

It’s hard to gauge where Washington State’s mind is at. They have a couple of players suspended and head coach Mike Leach entertained other coaching jobs over the last few weeks. Although he didn’t accept, the players might be wondering about his commitment as he wonders about theirs. The Cougars had been hoping to play in a bigger bowl but ended up back in the Holiday Bowl. For Michigan State, they were coming off a down year and little was expected of them, so they’ll be happy to be here. That is a big distinction in mindset.

For Sparty, the key is to run the ball, move the chains and keep the Cougars offense on the sidelines. That should be doable as the Cougars give up 146.2 rushing yards per game (42nd). Michigan State averaged a healthy 162.9 rushing yards per game. In Washington State’s three losses, their run defense broke, giving up an average of 247.0 rushing yards per game. Michigan State should take note of that.

Holiday Bowl Prediction