The Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines NCAA football betting matchup will be, according to Detroit Free Press columnist Jeff Seidel, yet another nail-biting affair in a rivalry that dates back to 1898. What better example than last season’s clash, when QB Brian Lewerke led the Spartans to gain 124 offensive yards and score two TDs in nine minutes of the fourth quarter, only to see the Wolverines to win the Paul Bunyan trophy for the first time in four years, with a final 32-23 score?
- Date: October 7
- Time: 7:35 PM
- Venue: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
- Online sportsbook college football wagering odds:
Michigan State +10½ (-110) 39½ (-110) +330
Michigan -10½ (-110) 39½ (-110) -410
Spartans made the right turn at Lewerke
Lewerke has, as MSU’s fully-fledged starting QB, thrown for 963 yards and rushed for a team-best 248 yards through the first four games, in which Michigan State has gone 3-1 SU and ATS. The Spartans have, however, struggled, according to Nick Baumgardner, also of the DFP, with the ground game this year, which is important for two reasons; first, it means the Wolverines top ranked defense as engineered by Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown could have a field day with Lewerke and Michigan State’s passing game, and second, the team with more rushing yards has won 42 of the past 47 meetings between these two programs. MSU had dominated the rivalry in recent years, going 7-2 SU and 9-0 ATS since 2008. That said, Michigan is on a 10-game home winning streak, while Michigan State is 22-8-1 ATS in its last 31 games on the road against teams with winning records. All things considered, and if those trends hold, one would be tempted to allot the Wolverines the straight-up win while the Spartans cover the NCAA football betting spread.
Children of the O’Korn
Michigan is undefeated this season but has impressed neither fans, experts, nor bettors, the latter whose minds have certainly not been blown by UM’s 2-2 ATS record. But Harbaugh has faith in John O’Korn. “Probably the biggest compliment you can give John O’Korn is there has been no change from the way he was in spring ball to the way he was in training camp to the way he was in the first game, the second game, the third game, the fourth game,” the Wolverines head coach said. “He’s the same we’ve seen each and every week.” To the earlier point that the team with the most rushing yards tend to come out on top between these two teams, UM is rushing the ball on approximately 60% of its plays, but the passing game needs to pick up the slack if the Wolverines want the total to go over for the first time since their season-opening game. Three of Michigan’s four wins have come by 18 or fewer points, and Michigan State’s defense has been allowed just 18.0 points and 247 yards per game. And since Michigan’s defensive prowess goes without saying, it is also almost needless to say that the NCAA football betting total will probably go under.