Michigan at Michigan State Expert Pick & Odds
One of the most unbelievable and unlikely endings in college football history happened in last year’s Michigan-Michigan State game in Ann Arbor, a Sparty win. But oddsmakers aren’t confident that MSU will beat the Wolverines for a fourth straight year this Saturday as No. 2 Michigan is a big favorite on college football odds.
How To Bet on the Michigan at Michigan State Expert Pick, Odds & TV Info
When: Saturday, Oct. 29, Noon ET
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
Radio: Michigan / Michigan State
Opening NCAA Football Lines: Michigan -23.5 (54)
Why Bet on Michigan?
This is the largest spread in this series since 1992. And with Michigan State mired in a five-game losing streak, ranked ahead of only Rutgers in the Big Ten in total offense and scoring offense, it certainly looks like a mismatch. Michigan’s defense ranks No. 1 in the nation in multiple categories — scoring defense, pass defense, third-down defense, total defense, you name it — and one that boasts multiple NFL prospects.
The biggest stat for U-M defensive coordinator Don Brown might be listed under the “havoc rate” (a tackle for loss, forced fumble or pass defended). That’s happening on 25.6% of opposing snaps and is spread between eight players with at least 4.5 TFLs and seven with at least two passes defended.
The Wolverines definitely want payback for last year, a 27-23 loss. With the Wolverines up 23-21 and 10 seconds left, Michigan punter Blake O’Neill bobbled a low snap. As O’Neill spun around to try and make the kick, he was swarmed by Spartans, and the ball popped free. Jalen Watts-Jackson caught it and raced 38 yards toward the end zone, taking advantage of Jermaine Edmondson’s blocking and powering through Jake Butt’s hit just before the goal line. The game was over. A few people in the stands had heart attacks. Seriously. It was the first time an FBS game ended with a defensive or special-teams game-winning score with no time left was Nov. 30, 2013.
One of the major components to securing victory in the annual Michigan-Michigan State football game has been the ground game. From 1969 through 1994 — 26 consecutive games — the winning team gained more yards on the ground. MSU put an end to the string by winning in 1995 despite being out-gained in the rushing department. Michigan lost the rushing battle in 2007, 191-100, but came out on top 28-24 at Spartan Stadium. The team with the most rushing yards has won 42 of the past 46 overall.
This will be the 51st time that Michigan enters a matchup with Michigan State ranked in the top 25 of the Associated Press national poll. The Wolverines have compiled a 30-19- 1 record in those contests.
Why Bet on Michigan State?
The Spartans have been knocked down a few pegs already this season. After opening the season 2-0, MSU has dropped five straight games and has looked pedestrian in each. Everything that has happened this season is uncharacteristic of a Mark Dantonio-coached team.
For the first time in Dantonio’s 10-year tenure at Michigan State, the Spartans did not release a depth chart for this week. That’ss because Michigan hasn’t done at all this season. Dantonio said the decision was due to a number of injuries the Spartans are experiencing. Redshirt freshman Brian Lewerke received his second straight start at quarterback over “nicked-up” Tyler O’Connor and Damion Terry in the Spartans’ 28-17 loss at Maryland last Saturday. Other injured Spartans include starting safeties
Montae Nicholson and Demetrious Cox, both of whom left the Maryland game and did not return. The five-game losing streak is MSU’s longest under Dantonio. The Spartans ran for a season-high 270 yards (previous: 260 at Notre Dame) on 44 attempts in the loss to Maryland. Lewerke finished 11-of- 24 passing for 156 yards and an interception. The 24 passing attempts and 156 yards marked career highs . Lewerke also rushed for a career-high 59 yards on 10 carries.
In MSU’s 7-1 record over Michigan since 2008, the Spartans have outscored the Wolverines by 100 points (224-124, average score: 28-16). The Spartans have won a school-record four consecutive over the Wolverines in Spartan Stadium (2009, 2011, 2013, 2014). Dantonio is 7-2 during his tenure against Michigan, including a 4-1 record in Spartan Stadium.
My Expert Pick
Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
Favorite is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
Wolverines are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
Michigan will win but take all those points on NCAA football odds. Go under.