Oregon (8-4) is the favorite against Michigan State (7-5) in the Redbox Bowl at Levi’s Stadium on Monday (December 31, 2018, 15:00ET).
The betting line was first offered at -3.0 points for the Ducks. They’ve gone a reassuring 7-1 straight up as favorites this year, and 3-5-0 ATS. The Spartans are 2-3 straight up as underdogs, and 2-3-0 against the spread.
In the first year under Mario Cristobal, Oregon’s goals were to not lose their defensive coordinator and get back to the top of the heap in West Coast recruiting. Having achieved both, the Ducks get to play this game, just their third against a Big 10 opponent since losing the national title game in 2014.
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert completed 59.6% of his passes this season for 2,985 yards and 28 touchdowns. Herbert is an efficient quarterback, with a passer rating of 147.7 this season. CJ Verdell gained 1,287 yards from scrimmage and rushed for 10 touchdowns, averaging a solid 5.2 yards per carry.
All together, the team gained 447.5 yards per game and scored 37.2 points per game. The defense allowed 393.1 yards and 27.0 points per game, while Justin Hollins led the way with 5 sacks this season.
A 7-5 season for Michigan State, but a confusing one. A win over Penn State would be encouraging, but losses to Arizona State, Northwestern, and Nebraska have to be huge letdowns.
The Spartans offense features QB Brian Lewerke, who passed for 1,868 yards and 8 TD’s this season. Lewerke completed 54.2% of his passes, which works out to a passer rating of 108.8. Connor Heyward ran for 975 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
Altogether, Michigan State averaged 343.0 yards per game and 19.8 points. The defense allowed an excellent 311.5 yards and 18.0 points per game. Kenny Willekes recorded 8 sacks this season.
Redbox Bowl Betting Advice
This game will feature at least two truly excellent units, the Oregon offense and the Michigan State defense. That unstoppable force/immovable object dynamic makes betting the over/under difficult, but crucially important. The total for this game is currently set at 48.0, and how you feel about that line will likely decide the game. Consider parlaying an over/under bet with the corresponding spread pick.