Big Ten NCAA Betting Preview: Rutgers Scarlet Knights at No. 11 Michigan State Spartans

Connor Cook has a 152.9 passer rating.
Connor Cook has a 152.9 passer rating.

Rutgers-Mich st
Time: Sat, 11 AM CST
Spread: MIC -22

Betting Odds c/of Bovada

Rutgers is 6-4 on the season and travels to face No. 11 Michigan State this week. The Spartans are 8-2 on the season with a 5-1 mark in Big Ten play. MSU will be 22-point favorites in a game that should prove difficult for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers has a negative 2.5-point differential this season, ranking just 68th in the nation in passing yardage and 81st in rushing yardage. Last week, the Scarlet Knights were able to rout the Indiana Hoosiers, who have yet to win a Big Ten game this season.

QB Gary Nova threw 16-of-27 for 217 yards and two TDs (no interceptions), while Josh Hicks ran for 114 yards on 5.7 yards per carry, and Robert Martin contributed 83 yards an three TDs. Indiana led 13-10 at intermission, but the Scarlet Knights tore it open in the third quarter, outscoring Indiana 21-3 in the period to take a commanding lead that was relinquished.

Rutgers’ senior QB Gary Nova has been predictably disappointing this season. He’s thrown for 58.2 percent completion, which is his highest of his NCAA career, but still underwhelming. Nova has thrown 16 TDs to 10 INTs, but been sacked 16 times this season, while posting a raw QB rating of 62.6. Prior to last week’s win, Nova had three straight weeks with under 200 passing yards.

Michigan State has been dominant offensively this season. The Spartans rank 6th in the nation with 43.8 points per game, largely due to its tough rush attack. MSU averages 245.9 yards per game via the rush, and the pass is effective too, accounting for 268.1 yards per game.

Last week, the Spartans took care of Maryland, winning 37-15. But the Spartans suffered a costly loss to Ohio State on Nov. 8. It was the Spartans first loss since week 2 against then-No. 3 Oregon.

Spartans RB Jeremy Langford has been sensational this season. He’s rushed for a team-high 1,116 yards with 203 carries and 15 TDs. QB Connor Cook has thrown for 2,466 yards at a 58 percent clip and 9.00 yards per reception. Impressively, Cook has thrown just five INTs to 19 TDs this season and has an outstanding passer rating of 152.9. His top receiving target Tony Lippett is about to eclipse 1,000 yards this week, and has a team-high nine receiving TDs this season.

MSU’s kicker Michael Geiger is just 5-of-8 from 30 to 39 yards and 3-of-7 from 40 to 49 yards.

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