No. 4 Michigan State stunned just about everyone but itself when it knocked off then No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game on December 7th. The Spartans upset victory earned them a spot in the 2014 Rose Bowl, where they will, again, wear the underdog label. The latest Rose Bowl Point Spreads have No. 5 Stanford, the surprise Pac 12 champion, listed as a -4.5 college football point spreads favorite in the ‘Granddaddy of Them All’. The Spartans and Cardinal will take the field at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on Wednesday, January 1st; the game, which will be broadcast live on ESPN, is scheduled to get underway at 5:00pm ET.
Michigan State Spartans vs Stanford Cardinal Point Spreads (-4.5, Over/Under 43): Entering the season most pundits saw Michigan State as a third place finisher in the Big Ten Legends Division behind Nebraska and Michigan. The Spartans 3-1 start to the season, which featured wins over Western Michigan, South Florida, and Youngstown State as well as a narrow loss to Notre Dame, did little to change those expectations.
Michigan State kept plugging away, though, and by the time its November 2nd meeting with Michigan rolled around, it was viewed as a viable threat to take the division. The Spartans proceeded to put a stranglehold on the Legends by thumping the Wolverines and Huskers 29-6 and 41-28, respectively, in back to back weekends.
Mark Dantonio’s crew ended its regular season slate riding a eight game winning streak, but even then its was viewed a long shot to win the conference championship game. The Spartans did it anyway, handing the Buckeyes their first loss since their January 2nd, 2012 Gator Bowl meeting with Florida.
Stanford, while more highly regarded than Michigan State the majority of the season, faced similar conference expectations. The Cardinal were supposed to play second fiddle to Oregon in the Pac 12 North, but they topped the Ducks 26-20 on November 7th and held on to win the division with a 7-2 league record.
Stanford had to travel to Tempe for the Pac 12 Championship Game, though, and it drew underdog status against a red hot Arizona State squad. Nonetheless, the Cardinal routed the Sun Devils 38-14 to win their second consecutive conference title.
Now these two BCS powers will face a mirror image in the Rose Bowl as they each emphasize strong defensive play and a ground oriented offensive attack. That plan has, obviously, served both teams well and should go a long ways toward making the 2014 Rose Bowl a low scoring, tightly contested affair.
Notable Trends: Stanford is 5-0 straight up and 4-0-1 against the spread in their last five games as a favorite with a spread between 4 and 7.5 points. Michigan State is 3-2 straight up and 4-1 against the spread in its last five games as an underdog with a spread between 4 and 7.5 points.
Rose Bowl Point Spreads: Provided by Sportsbook.ag
No. 4 Michigan State Spartans +4.5 (-110), Over 43 (-110), +170 (Moneyline)
No. 5 Stanford Cardinal -4.5 (-110), Under 43 (-110), -200 (Moneyline)