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Wolverines Host Rival Spartans as Two-Touchdown Favorites

Michigan is rolling and Michigan State is reeling, but records don’t seem to matter when these teams get together. The Spartans have pulled off the outright upset in three of the last four meetings and are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 against the Wolverines.

Matchup Information
  • Michigan State Spartans vs Michigan Wolverines (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: November 16, 12 noon ET
  • TV Coverage: FOX
  • Opening Odds: Michigan -13.5 | O/U 45.0 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

Michigan State hasn’t been an underdog of this many points against any opponent other than Ohio State since 2016, when the Spartans were +24.5 at home to Michigan. Sparty covered that contest and is 3-2 ATS in its last five as an underdog of two touchdowns or more.

Michigan State News & Notes

A miserable season in East Lansing took another ugly turn last week as the Spartans lost 37-34 at home to Illinois as two-touchdown favorites. Michigan State moved the ball with ease, racking up 526 total yards of offense, but shot itself in the foot repeatedly with physical and mental mistakes.

The Spartans allowed a 46-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the opening half, then gave up an 83-yard touchdown throw and a 76-yard interception return for a TD during a fourth quarter that saw the Illini storm back from a 31-10 deficit. Illinois won the game on a five-yard touchdown pass with five seconds left on the clock, right after Michigan State was flagged for pass interference on fourth down.

“You can’t turn the ball over, and then you can’t give up big plays,” bemoaned Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, who had actually emphasized improved ball security before the game.

Yet, last week’s loss was the continuation of a four-week trend that has seen the Spartans turn the ball over 13 times. It hardly seems like a coincidence that Sparty has lost all of those games by an average of 21.5 points.

Michigan News & Notes

Having extra time to prepare hasn’t proven much of an advantage recently for the Wolverines. Michigan is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games when coming off a bye, including a 35-14 loss at Wisconsin earlier this year that was an even bigger blowout than the final score indicated.

The Wolverines probably didn’t want a break anyway, having gone 5-1 SU since that loss at Wisconsin — with that one defeat coming by a touchdown at Penn State. The offense has scored at least 38 points in three of its last four outings, while the Michigan D has held four of its last six opponents to 14 or less.

Increased productivity from the running game has been a big key to the Wolverines’ recent surge, as Michigan rushed for more than 450 yards combined in wins over Notre Dame and Maryland.

Betting Pick: Spartans +13.5

With their bowl eligibility in jeopardy, I expect a huge effort from the Spartans against an in-state rival that they always play tough.

Shark Bites
  • Michigan State is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games.
  • Michigan is 3-8 SU and 1-10 ATS in its last 11 games vs Michigan State.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Michigan State’s last 10 games vs Michigan.