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Michigan State favored by -7 against Northwestern on Saturday

Michigan State SpartansNorthwestern Wildcats

The 9-1 Michigan State Spartans have rather quietly played themselves into great positioning for a spot in the Big Ten championship game.

A victory Saturday at hard-luck Northwestern would do the trick.

MSU leads the Legends Division at 6-0 in Big Ten play, two games up on surprising Minnesota, whom the Spartans host next week. One more victory, or a Gophers loss, would put Michigan State in the conference championship game for the second time in three seasons.

The 4-6 Wildcats, on the other hand, continued a most cursed season with a triple-overtime loss to Michigan last Saturday. So after a 4-0 start Northwestern has lost six games in a row; two in OT and three others by basically one score. 

As of early this week the Spartans were favored by a touchdown over the Wildcats.

The Wildcats sport a record of 4-6 and 3-7 ATS heading into this matchup, while the Spartans sit at 8-1 and 5-3-1 ATS on the season. The over under records are 3-7 for the Wildcats and 3-6 for the Spartans.

View Michigan State Spartans vs Northwestern Wildcats Odds and Stats.

Northwestern were sitting as 7-point underdogs earlier in the week at Bovada. The total was to be set a bit later in the week for over under betting purposes.

The OddsShark Power Rankings have the Wildcats at No. 61 and the Spartans at No. 24 heading into this contest. Handicapping models project a 39-23 result in favor of the Spartans.

Last time out for Michigan State, they were a 41-28 winner as they battled Nebraska on the road. Michigan State covered in the match as a 5.5-point favorite, while 69 combined points moved the game OVER for totals bettors. Jeremy Langford tore up the turf for 151 rushing yards in the latest Spartans game, a 41-28 win over the Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. The Wildcats suffered a Week 12 loss against Michigan in their last game, falling 27-19 at Ryan Field.

How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Northwestern's No. 78-ranked offense (27.1 PPG) against a Spartans defense that ranks No. 4 at 13.2 PPG. The Wildcats passing attack has averaged 207.3 yards per game, more than the Spartans give up through the air (171.1 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Spartans own the league's No. 3-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 77 yards per game when on the road. Northwestern, on the other hand, rates No. 61 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

A few Spartans at Wildcats trends to consider:
Michigan State is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Michigan State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Michigan State's last 21 games
Michigan State is 6-0-1 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
Northwestern is 15-8 ATS in its last 23 games
Northwestern is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games
Northwestern is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Northwestern's last 5 games

Next up:
Michigan State home to Minnesota, Saturday, November 30th
Northwestern at Illinois, Saturday, November 30th