Michigan State is undefeated yet still has not covered a Game. After three straight 20-plus spreads, the odds have dropped a bit for their Game at Rutgers. Still, the Spartans are a -14 point favorite on the road (at BetonlineSportsbook) against the SCarlet Knights.
Maybe one of these Games Michigan State will play to its ability, or maybe it just isn’t as good as the Top 5 ranking its had for most of the season. We’ll find out soon enough with Michigan on the slate after this one.
However, it’s not like Rutgers is any better themselves, having not covered in three straight Games. Beating teams like Norfolk State and Kansas shouldn’t instill much confidence in bettors. And in Rutgers’ only Big Ten Game, they got destroyed by Penn State (in Happy Valley) 28-3. So far, it doesn’t look like the SCarlet Knights have improved on either end of the ball, with their defense as suspect as ever.
Offensively, it doesn’t look much better. Three of Rutgers’ previous Four opponents have some of the worst defenses in the country. The offense couldn’t do anything against a stout Nittany Lions squad and while Michigan State’s defense hasn’t looked as good this year, they are still a solid group that’s undoubtedly better than that of Kansas.
Half of sophomore quarterback Chris LAviano’s touchdowns came against Norfolk State when he threw three TDs in Four passes. Even though the Spartans are facing some injuries in the secondary, Rutgers’ offensive line will run into some issues in this Game against the likes of Shilique Calhoun, a possible first round NFL draft pick. The question is the same for the running Game, whether it’s Josh Hicks, Robert Martin or Paul James. The SCarlet Knights would like to run the ball, but their line could get engulfed by MSU.
On the other end, the Spartans have been inconsistent, but still Scoreenough every week to win. After dropping 21 points in the first half against Purdue last week, they proceeded to Scorejust three points the rest of the way against what is known to be a mediocre-at-best defense. The same can be said about the Rutgers defense, although this will be its toughest task of the season to date, from an all-around sense. Washington State passed all over Rutgers, but the Cougars don’t have much of a running Game.
MSU will probably attack the ground Game as much as possible again, whether it’s LJ SCott (376 yards, 4 TDs) or Madre London (372 yards, 3 TDs). Even with injuries, the offensive line will have the advantage. And in the passing Game, Connor Cook hasn’t shown much consistency either, yet still has 10 TDs and one interception. Rutgers will have a hard time dealing with top wide out Aaron Burbridge (25 receptions, 414 yards, 4 TDs), who hasn’t gotten much going the last two Games.
Fifteen points on the road seems like a lot, but when these teams met last year, it was a lopsided 45-3 final. Michigan State hasn’t been as good this year, but there’s no reason to think Rutgers can hang with the Spartans, even at home.
The over has hit six straight times for the Spartans on field turf, while the SCarlet Knights are just 1-4 ATS in their last five following a straight-up win.
Our Pick – This is a shakey call for us. Michigan State simply hasn’t had the knockout punch this year thus far. Specifically on the defensive side of things. Not very comfortable laying points with them on the road as a result.
This is also another spot where the public is on Michigan State yet the line has noved the opposite way, It was as high as +17.
We’re going to join the majority here and make a weak call on the Spartans. Michigan State -14