An old rivalry continues this Saturday as the Michigan State Spartans head to The Big House to battle it out with the Michigan Wolverines in what will be one electric atmosphere. There probably will be a bit of something extra in the air with both of these teams coming into this contest with an undefeated record, even if the strength of schedule for one of these teams is a bit questionable.
Michigan State Spartans Betting Preview:
Michigan State has managed to go 7-0 by running the ball effectively, taking care of the ball, and getting to the quarterback with a solid pass rush. Look out for defensive end Jacub Panasiuk in this one, who has been in the backfield plenty this season, recording 5.5 sacks on the season, and he may well be primed for a big game once again this Saturday.
At QB, Payton Thorne has had a nice season putting up 1701 passing yards and coming in here with a 15-4 TD to INT ratio, but he does face a pretty tough defense on the other side of the ball, so this will be a big test for the sophomore signal-caller.
At the end of the day, though, this is an offense that heavily leans on the run, and hey, when you have Kenneth Walker the Third in the backfield, why wouldn’t you. He is just 3 yards short of 1000 yards rushing, and he has been about as efficient as you can be for an every-down back averaging 6.6 yards per carrying, and he will once again be the focal point of this Spartans offense in this one.
Michigan Wolverines Betting Preview:
The Michigan Wolverines are arguably the more impressive undefeated team entering this one with big wins against the likes of Nebraska, Northwestern, and Wisconsin on their record. Those were their last three games, so they have answered many questions people had about just how good this team could be earlier in the year and are now deservedly ranked 6th in the nation.
The Spartans have a good defense, but the Wolverines have a great defense, and they flexed some muscle in that last game against Northwestern, giving up one touchdown and holding the Wildcats to just ten first downs.
Even though the Spartans defense is strong up front, I would expect the Wolverines to pound the rock with their two-headed backfield of Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins, who basically split carries with both of these guys being quite efficient. Cade McNamara at QB needs just to avoid turning the ball over, and this Wolverines team will be in great shape to win the game and cover that spread.
Betting Lines & Odds
The Wolverines are -4 on the spread here, and for me, at least, they have deserved favorites. They have played a tougher strength of schedule, and I just trust their defense more than the Spartans. I also like that they have two guys who can effectively run the ball, meaning they likely have the upper hand if this becomes a war of attrition.
The Wolverines -4 are a good bet, but I would prefer to take a second look at that total currently listed at 50.5, which does seem a tick too high for me. Even though I prefer the Wolverines’ defense, there is no doubt that the Spartans have plenty of talent on that side of the ball, and both of these coaches definitely know that.
I would look for both of these teams to run a ton, and even though the Spartans offense is a big-play offense, I am not sure the home team will be giving up a ton of big plays here on Saturday. For me, the way this total gets over the 50.5 is if there are multiple turnovers and possibly a defensive touchdown, but both of these QB’s have been quite good at protecting the ball, so I really do like the under 50.5 in this one.
Free Betting Pick
Final Betting Verdict: Bet the Under 50.5
Final Score Prediction: 27-21 Wolverines