Michigan (6-1) at Michigan State (4-2)
When: Saturday, October 20th 2018
Where: Spartan Stadium,
East Lansing, Michigan
Time: Noon ET | TV: FOX
Opening Odds: Michigan -5/45.5
The Michigan Wolverines have been on quite a roll since an opening week loss at Notre Dame, reeling off six straight victories to set up a big matchup with in-state rival Michigan State this Saturday from East Lansing. The Wolverines have been doing it the last couple of seasons with one of the best defenses in the country, but the offense is starting to catch up, scoring 38 points or more in all but one game during their winning streak – their only Big Ten road game thus far, at Northwestern. Michigan destroyed the Wisconsin Badgers last week 38-13 and are now ranked No. 7 in the nation, but will hit the road again to take on a Michigan State team that has owned them recently. The Spartans have won eight of the last 10 meetings with their rivals and are 10-1 ATS in the last 11 encounters. Michigan State is coming off a pretty impressive win of their own, a 21-17 comeback victory at Penn State last week to knock the Nittany Lions out of Big Ten East contention. The Spartans have struggled with a number of injuries to key skill position players and the Wolverines are No. 1 in the nation against the pass (129.1 yards per game). Wideout Felton Davis III is coming off a huge game against Penn State, catching eight balls for 100 yards and a pair of second-half scores.
Michgian’s defense is terrific against the pass, as we mentioned, but Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke is one of the better running quarterbacks the Wolverines will face this season. In its lone loss of the season, Michigan allowed Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush to rush 19 times for a team-high 59 yards, similar to Lewerke’s 15 carries for 61 yards in last year’s Michigan State victory over the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. Michigan RB Karan Higdon is third in the Big Ten and ninth in the country with 114.5 rushing yards per game. Quarterback Shea Patterson has been solid (1,311 yards, 10 touchdowns) and could be throwing a lot more in this game because Michigan State is No. 1 in the country in rushing defense (62.3 yards per game).
Head coach Mark Dantonio didn’t put out an updated depth chart heading into this week’s game because of all the uncertainty with the injuries that includes top running back LJ Scott. Sophomore Connor Heyward (191 yards, three touchdowns) and freshman La’Darius Jefferson (185, two) could be asked to carry the load for the Spartans’ ground attack again. Both were solid late in the Penn State game, but will be going up against a pretty stout Michigan defense this week. Safety Khari Willis was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after recording a season-high nine tackles and a forced fumble against Penn State.
Michigan is the better team here, but they haven’t looked their best in both road games they’ve played this season and they really have trouble with Michigan State for some reason. The Spartans have a lot of confidence after a huge road win last week and will probably keep it close.
Pick: Michigan State +7
- Wolverines are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
- Wolverines are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Wolverines are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Wolverines are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games in October.
- Wolverines are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games following a ATS win.
- Wolverines are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
- Wolverines are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Wolverines are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games.
- Spartans are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Spartans are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Spartans are 11-29 ATS in their last 40 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Spartans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Spartans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Spartans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
- Over is 5-0 in Wolverines last 5 games in October.
- Over is 8-1 in Wolverines last 9 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Over is 4-1 in Wolverines last 5 games overall.
- Under is 4-1 in Wolverines last 5 road games.
- Over is 4-1 in Wolverines last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 4-1 in Wolverines last 5 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Over is 4-1 in Wolverines last 5 conference games.
- Over is 18-7-1 in Wolverines last 26 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 5-2 in Wolverines last 7 games on grass.
- Over is 6-0 in Spartans last 6 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Over is 4-0 in Spartans last 4 home games.
- Over is 4-1 in Spartans last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 4-1 in Spartans last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 7-2 in Spartans last 9 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Over is 6-2 in Spartans last 8 games overall.
- Over is 6-2 in Spartans last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Wolverines are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
- Wolverines are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Michigan State.