College Football Week 8 Betting Previews and Predictions: Michigan State Spartans at (23) Michigan Wolverines

LeVeon Bell has 916 yards on 200 carries on the year for the underdog Spartans, who are expected to lose by 10 points according to college football oddsmakers.
Michigan St- (23) Michigan
Time: 3:30 PM EST, Sat
Spread: MICH -10
Total: 43

Odds from Bookmaker

Can the Wolverines continue their dominance over the Spartans?

College football oddsmakers say ‘yes,’ setting the line 10 points in favor of Michigan. It’s nothing new. The Wolverines have won over 2/3rds of the 100+ match ups between the rivals dating back to 1898 (source: ESPN).

MSU coach Mark D’Antonio is up for the rivalry though, stating that “It’ll be a challenge, going down there…we can talk about that (the loss to Iowa last week) next week, and everyone will get all riled up about things. It’ll be good for the blood.”

The Wolverines enter the game ranked 23rd in the nation and have a 4-2 record to sport, but are undefeated (2-0) in the Big Ten, and Denard Robinson says he is “not even thinking about” the rivalry between the two schools, when he was asked about it following Michigan’s 45-0 drubbing of Illinois last week. Robinson scored four TDs (2 rushing, 2 passing) in the game, and said it was a “big win” for them.

Brady Hoke shared Robinson’s sentiments, saying he just wanted the win to sink in for his squad, after winning back to back weeks following the tough loss to Notre Dame three weeks ago.

In that victory over Illinois, the Wolverines gave up only 134 total yards to the Fighting Illini, who managed only seven first downs in the game, and just 29 passing yards. Comparatively, the Wolverines generated 527 total yards while converting 9-of-14 third downs and recording 21 first downs total.

It has been MSU that has dominated the last five years, though, and the last Wolverines victory was in 2007.

If the Spartans are to remain in this one, it will be because of their defense. MSU allows only 15.7 points per game this season, which is good for 13th in the nation. The problem has been that they haven’t been scoring much themselves, and rank near the bottom of the nation in points per game (21.0 for 104th) and rushing yards (144 yards per game for 86th in the nation). Their passing attack has been fair, averaging 236.3 yards per game behind the strength of the arm of junior Andrew Maxwell. Maxwell has thrown for 1,607 yards so far and has a QB rating of 111.6.

The main reason his rating is so low, however, is because of a poor OL that has allowed him to be sacked 10 times so far; and also because of some poor accuracy, which as resulted in four interceptions. His completion ratio isn’t great, just 54.3 percent, but again, a lot of that lies on the shoulders of an OL that just hasn’t been effective at preventing pass rushes.

The MSU OL will have to work hard to keep the Wolverine defense from attacking Maxwell, as the Wolverine defense is also very tough, allowing only 17.5 points per game.

Michigan State Betting Trends:

Spartans are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games vs teams with winning home records, 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 after allowing 170 yards or less passing in the previous game, 13-6 ATS vs teams with winning records, and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 following an ATS loss.

Michigan Betting Trends:

Wolverines are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in OCT, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 at home, 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 after accumulating 450 total yards or more in the previous game, 7-18-1 ATS vs teams with winning records, and 2-7 ATS in their last 9 vs teams with winning road records.

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