Wildcats vs Spartans Game Preview
Northwestern Wildcats vs Michigan State Spartans Odds
Snake-bitten Northwestern, coming off yet another tough defeat, will try to rebound when it takes on 5-5 Michigan State in East Lansing Saturday afternoon (noon ET, ESPN2).
The 7-3 Wildcats, whose three losses have all come after blowing fourth-quarter leads, were early six-point underdogs vs. the Spartans, who still need one more victory to become bowl-eligible.
Betting Line: Sportsbooks such as Sportsbook.ag had set the Spartans as 6.5-point favorites on the opening line for this contest.
Power Rankings / Prediction: According to the Power Rankings here at OddsShark it's the No. 12-rated Spartans and the No. 70-rated Wildcats in this matchup. Predictive formulas point to a 29-26 win for the Wildcats on Saturday.
How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Michigan State's No. 110-ranked offense (19.7 PPG) against a Wildcats defense that ranks No. 41 at 23.9 PPG. The Spartans passing attack has averaged 218.5 yards per game, less than the Wildcats give up through the air (273.8 YPG on average).
Defensively, the Wildcats feature the league's No. 38-rated road run defense, allowing 141.5 yards per game. Michigan State, meanwhile, ranks No. 78 in rushing offense at home.
Northwestern was a 38-31 loser in their most recent outing on the road against Michigan. They covered the 8.5-point spread as underdogs, while the total score (69) made winners of OVER bettors. Last time we saw the Wildcats, they had no answer for WinningWR as the Wolverines rolled to a 38-31 victory at Michigan Stadium.
In their last action, Michigan State was a 28-24 loser at home against Nebraska. They failed to cover the 1-point spread as favorites, while the combined score (52) was profitable news for OVER bettors. Last time we saw the Spartans, they had no answer for WinningWR as the Cornhuskers rolled to a 28-24 victory at Spartan Stadium.
Northwestern Wildcats Trends:
When playing in November are 5-5
When playing on grass are 6-4
After outgaining opponent are 7-3
When playing within the conference are 6-4
Michigan State Spartans Trends:
When playing in November are 8-2
When playing on grass are 6-4
After being outgained are 6-4
When playing within the conference are 5-5
A few Wildcats at Spartans trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Northwestern's last 8 games on the road
Northwestern is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
Northwestern is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Northwestern's last 6 games when playing Michigan State
Michigan State is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Northwestern
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Michigan State's last 6 games at home
Michigan State is 17-4 SU in its last 21 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Michigan State's last 8 games
Northwestern home to Illinois, Saturday, November 24
Michigan State at Minnesota, Saturday, November 24