Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans Betting Preview
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
When: Saturday, October 29, 12:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Writer’s Pick: Michigan (-23.5)
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Betting on the Michigan Wolverines (-23.5)
The Michigan Wolverines maintained their perfect start to the season with an emphatic 41-8 victory over Illinois on Saturday. It was a fantastic result for the Wolverines who are 7-0 for the first time since 2006. Leading the way for the Wolverines in this game was Wilton Speight. The sophomore quarterback threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns in just three quarters of play. It was a phenomenal performance by Speight who finished with a mind-boggling 190.7 QB rating in that game. On the season, he has thrown 13 touchdowns against only two interceptions.
For the Wolverines to preserve their unbeaten record against Michigan State, they will need to continue their excellent play on the defensive end. Michigan allowed 172 total yards and just six first downs against Illinois. That one-sided contest marked the fourth time this season that the Wolverines held an opponent below 100 passing yards (Illinois – 95). Michigan is tops in the FBS in total defense, surrendering just 207.0 yards per game this season. The Wolverines will be licking their chops at the prospect of facing a woeful Michigan State offense that’s averaging just 390.3 yards per game this campaign, 84th in the FBS.
The Wolverines are 7-3 SU and 5-5 ATS in their last 10 road games. They are pegged at +550 to win the national championship this season.
Betting on the Michigan State Spartans (+23.5)
Things are going from bad to worse for Michigan State who absorbed a humiliating 28-17 loss to Maryland on Saturday. It was the fifth consecutive defeat for the Spartans who have lost that many in a row for the first time since 1991. The Spartans have now lost their opening four Big Ten games this season, the first time that has occurred since 1982.
The Spartans will look to get their season back on track when they take on arch-rivals Michigan this coming Saturday. For Michigan State to record a major shock and cover the huge 23.5-point spread against the Wolverines, it needs to improve on its third-down defense. The Spartans are ranked 109th in the country out of 128 teams in third-down defense as teams are converting at a high rate of 46.2 percent. They finished last season 30th in the nation in this department at 34.9 percent. Maryland converted 5 of 12 third downs last week as the Spartans were torched by running backs Ty Johnson (9 carries, 115 yards) and Lorenzo Harrison (17 carries, 105 yards, one touchdown).
Apart from their third-down defense, the Spartans will need to improve on their play down the stretch. The Spartans have already surrendered 84 fourth-quarter points in seven games this season. That’s quite astonishing considering Michigan State allowed just 87 fourth-quarter points in total last season. The onus then is on Brian Lewerke to step up his play for the Spartans this coming weekend. The redshirt freshman started at quarterback for the second straight game against Maryland but was just 11-for-24 for 156 yards and an interception.
Even with their recent struggles, the Spartans will still fancy their chances against the Wolverines as they have fared extremely well against them of late. Michigan State has won seven of its last eight meetings with Michigan. The Spartans stunned the Wolverines, 27-23, last season, capitalizing on a botched punt by Blake O’Neill in the dying seconds of that contest. Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio will surely hope that his Spartans squad will pull off another miracle this coming weekend.
The Spartans are 6-4 SU and ATS in their last 10 home games against the Wolverines.
Michigan (-23.5) exacts revenge on Michigan State with a comprehensive 38-14 victory.
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