College Football Pick
This matchup is nowhere near what it was supposed to be before the season with Michigan State having lost five straight Games coming into this one. On the other end, Michigan hasn’t really been challenged and sports the No. 2 ranking in the AP Polls. And so, the Wolverines opened as a -19 point favorite at most places with the line continuing to rise with -21.5 showing early in the week at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
At this point, there’s no reason to trust Michigan State, so it’s hard to see many people putting money on them, even at home. The Spartans haven’t played any better at home in their losing streak, falling by 24 points to Wisconsin, 17 to BYU and then giving up 54 to Northwestern. Last week, they struggled to Scoreat Maryland, a team with a bad defense.
As for Michigan, it’s been smooth sailing, taking their last two Games by a combined 119-8 Scoreline. The Wolverines have been challenged at times, mainly against Wisconsin in a 14-7 win and even against Colorado, but so far, nothing has moved the needle against this team. They’ve played just one road Game and that was the 78-0 Rutgers beat down.
Coming off last year’s incredible finish after the Spartans left Ann Arbor with a blocked punt return for touchdown win, it wouldn’t be surprising if the in-state rival Wolverines pile the points on in this matchup. And that should be attainable against this defense.
After being one of the best run defenses in the country, the Spartans haven’t stopped many run Games this year and gave up 247 rushing yards to the Terps last weekend. On the other side, the Wolverines are running through everyone, whether that’s De’Veon Smith, Ty Isaac, Chris Evans or Karan Higdon. The list goes on, while Wilton Speight hasn’t exactly been asked to do much at quarterback. It’s unlikely he’ll have to do much here, but if it comes to it, MSU has one of the worst third-down defenses in the country, so Speight should be fine with Amara Darboh and Jake Butt expected to cut through the secondary.
On the other side, Michigan hasn’t allowed more than 10 points in the last Four Games and with how MSU has looked, that streak could extend to five Games. The Spartans still aren’t sure of their starting quarterback with freshman Brian Lewerke getting the last two starts, but not doing much with them. Tyler O’Connor could come in again if MSU can’t move the ball in the first half.
And because of the questions at QB, Michigan State will want to run, but that may not work against this defense that has held in check every opponent thus far. And if the Spartans can’t run, it’s hard to see them moving the ball at all, especially against this back seven of Michigan.
All that said, there’s no wonder why this line keeps rising because the Wolverines could win this one huge in East LAnsing.
The Wolverines have covered five straight following an ATS loss, but haven’t covered in their last Four road Games against a team with a losing home record. The Spartans have failed to cover in their last five and most of their trends are in the negative because of that.
Our Pick – Only the margin is in doubt here. Michigan will win this Game. It’s just a matter of how much fight the Spartans will have in them. Over the history of this series, you’ll find very few Games decided by more than 3 td’s.
If the Spartans lose this one, they’ll have to run the table and win out in order to make a bowl Game. Not likely, however, perhaps enough of a motivator to give Michigan State a little boost at home this week. A weak call, but we’ll take a shot with the big dog. Michigan State +21.5