Michigan is 0-3 ATS in their last three encounters with Michigan State and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 visits.
Betting OddsPoint Spread: Spartans -2.5
The Wolverines offense is centred on QB Denard Robinson but he’s facing a rival this week that has had his number. Spartans’ Def. Co. Pat Narduzzi had his DEs rush upfield last season and force Robinson to hand off on his zone-read runs. This lead to an average 21-86-1 for Robinson in last year’s 34-17 loss. DT Jerel Worthy is a force inside and we feel Michigan’s running game will have a tough time breaking long runs. Robinson isn’t nearly the passer he is as a runner and that will aid a State secondary that isn’t as good as their D-line. The Spartans have allowed only three red zone TDs this season and have really toughened with their back to the wall.
Michigan State ran all over the Wolverines last season, finishing with 249 yards on 42 carries. New Michigan Def. Co. Greg Mattison has his D-line maintaining better gap control but this is the biggest test for this defense in 2011 so far. QB Kirk Cousins has performed well when he has maintained his composure but he is still prone to lapses when pressured. We expect the O-line to give him time to make downfield throws. This will be a key part of the offense as the State wideouts have a decided size advantage against the Michigan secondary. MSU uses several backs and they will attack the middle of the defense.
Michigan State has owned this matchup in recent years and is at home. They are one of the few teams that have had success defending the dynamic Robinson and we like them to do it again. They are also more balanced offensively and this is a very low number for a home favorite that has owned their opponent.
Take the Spartans -2.5 at Pinnacle Sportsbook