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Wolverines Slight Favorites In Battle Of Unbeaten Rivals

For the first time ever, both Michigan (7-0 SU, 6-1 ATS) and Michigan State (7-0 SU, 5-1-1 ATS) enter their rivalry game at 7-0. The visiting Wolverines opened as 3.5-point favorites, which is not too surprising considering Michigan’s name recognition among college football giants.

Michigan Wolverines vs Michigan State Spartans
  • Date/Time: October 30, 12 noon ET
  • Stadium: Spartan Stadium
  • TV Coverage: Fox
  • Opening Odds: Michigan -3.5 | O/U 51 (Line History)
  • Michigan vs Michigan State Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

With both teams ranked in the top 10, it is not surprising to see a small spread, though it is interesting to see Michigan giving 3.5 points considering the Wolverines are on the road in a conference, in-state rivalry game. Essentially, this is saying Michigan would be a favorite of about 6.5 points at home. I don’t buy that. Neither team has played a grueling schedule, but the Spartans have the lone win vs a Top 25 opponent.

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Michigan News & Notes

After dispatching Northwestern 33-7 last week, the Wolverines are 7-0 for the first time since 2016 when they started 9-0. They have scored over 30 points in six of their seven victories and have held six of their seven opponents below 20 points. Simply put, they have been dominating on both sides of the ball, with five of their seven wins coming by 21 points or more.

Against Northwestern, the defense in particular made coach Jim Harbaugh happy, holding the Wildcats to just seven points, none in the second half.

“It’s just a matter of everybody on this team, they’re all-in for Michigan,” Harbaugh said. “They’re doing it unselfishly and that’s what it’s going to take.”

The Wolverines get their first big test Saturday afternoon in a heated rivalry game.

Michigan State News & Notes

The Spartans are off to their best start since they won their first eight in 2015, when they lost just one regular-season game, won the Big Ten championship and beat Ohio State and Michigan.

Michigan State is coming off a bye week to help prep for this big game. A bye week always helps, but for this team it looked necessary after playing seven consecutive weeks.

The Spartans finally have an offense to match their defense. Michigan State has scored 30 or more points in five of seven games this season. Last year, the Spartans never managed 30 points in a content and they had 30 or more just four times the previous season.

That offense will be the key against a strong, physical Wolverines front.

How Michigan Will Cover

The Wolverines clearly have more talent so they need to do their best to avoid turnovers, as they have all year, and keep Michigan State’s run game in check. If they do those two things, it will be awfully tough for the Spartans to hang around.

How Michigan State Will Cover

The key for the Spartans is establishing the run to control the clock and slowly tire out the Michigan defense. Kenneth Walker III should be able to punish their second and third units to help as well. If they can do that, the home crowd will feed off the physicality and you can mix in some deep shots that juice up the crowd.

Computer Pick: Michigan -3.5

For more Week 9 college football predictions, visit our NCAAF Computer Picks page.

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Shark Bites
  • Michigan is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games.
  • The OVER is 5-0 in Michigan’s last 5 road games.
  • The UNDER is 8-4 in the last 12 meetings.