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Five days prior to Florida State and Auburn playing or the BCS Championship, Pasadena will get a great Rose Bowl matchup putting two top-five conference champions on the field. The No.4 Michigan State Spartans will take on the No.5 Stanford Cardinal. That means that four of the top-five teams in the final BCS standings will be competing on the same field within a week in Pasadena – the games worked out well for the Tournament of Roses!
The 2014 Rose Bowl is still a few weeks away, but oddsmakers have already formulated a game line for the matchup.
Of the two teams, the Spartans wouldn’t have minded if the Rose Bowl was to be played this Saturday, as they are one of the hottest teams in the country coming off of their Big Ten Championship victory over Ohio State – knocking the Buckeyes out of the national title game. But the four-week break in between the games will certainly cool Michigan State down, but at the same time will get them ample opportunity to prepare for the Stanford attack they are going to see.
Michigan State has won eight-straight games, with their only loss on the season to Notre Dame. The Spartans went undefeated in Big Ten play this season – flying largely under the radar until they got their big shot with the Buckeyes.
The Cardinal make no excuses for who they are and the type of offense they like to run. Often referred to as the ‘phone booth’ system, seeing as how they like to line up with 10 or 11 guys close together to pound the ball at the defense. But the Spartans (who have the No.1 total defense in the country) are the team perhaps best up to the challenge to stop Stanford.
That’s what makes this matchup so intriguing – the two strengths of both teams will be tested. Of course, the Michigan State offense up against the Stanford defense will be fun to watch as well. While at times both have not performed to expectations, they have been playing well of late.
Oddsmakers see this Rose Bowl game being a close contest. It’s the Cardinal getting a slight edge, going off as 4.5-point favorites over the Spartans to win the game. Bettors could like the four points that they will receive by wagering on Michigan State. For Stanford to cover, they will need to win by at least five points.
Depending on how the money is wagered on each side it could affect the way that the betting line moves. LatestBettingOdds.com will have another preview coming of the Rose Bowl the week of the game, breaking down moves and preparations teams have made. The complete schedule of the 2013-14 bowl season + betting odds can be found below.