In-state and Big-10 rivals battle this Saturday (3:30 pm ET) in Ann Arbor, MI when the number 16 ranked Michigan St. Spartans travel to face the number 17 ranked Michigan Wolverines. Both teams come in unbeaten for the first time since 1999 with sparkling 5-0 records and fresh off wins in their Big-10 openers last week, MSU over Wisconsin 34-24 at home and Michigan in a tighter-than-expected 42-35 shoot-out over Indiana down in Bloomington, IN. Spartans coach Mark Dantonio is expected to coach from the press box this week as he returns from his heart attack and blood clot, which kept him out of last week’s game, and attempts to lead his team to their third straight win over Michigan. “It’s going to be a huge lift,” quarterback Kirk Cousins said of having Dantonio coaching the game.
Michigan St. comes into the game averaging 36.2 points per game, while running a balanced offense led by Cousins who has thrown for 1,132 yards and 9 touchdowns this year. MSU averages 220.2 yards rushing, with backs Le’Veon Bell and Edwin Baker combining for 1,007 yards and 12 TDs this season. The Wolverines are second in the nation in total offense with 565 yards per game (YPG) and third in rushing with 324.4 YPG, led by dynamic Heisman –contender Denard Robinson at quarterback. Who leads the country with 181 rushing YPG himself and is second in total offense with 382.6 YPG. With a bruised left knee last week against Indiana, Robinson still threw for 277 yards and 3 touchdowns while running for 217 yards and two TDs.
Michigan comes into the game 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall, and 5-16 ATS in their last 21 Big-10 games. Michigan St. comes into the contest 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a road underdog, and 2-7 ATS in their last nine overall as an underdog. The over is 42-17-s in the Spartans last 61 games as an underdog, and the over is 7-3 in Michigan’s last ten home games.
Michigan St. vs Michigan Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Michigan St. Spartans +4
@ Michigan Wolverines -4
Over 64 (-110)
Under 64 (-110)
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MSU vs. Michigan Prediction for Week 6 Saturday Afternoon Game:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – Michigan St. will be riding an emotional high with Dantonio’s return and will come in looking to stop Robinson. Look for the Spartans to try to play a ball-control game early to keep the ball out of Robinson’s hands and to key in on him when Michigan has the ball. Robinson, who was held to -9 yards rushing on 3 carries in last year’s 26-20 MSU OT win, will get his share of yards, but MSU will do as good a job of containing him as any team has this season. The Spartans have also been prolific on offense this season, and they should be able to keep pace with Michigan, their ability to control the clock and prevent turnovers on offense will be key late in the game and ultimately give them the edge in this one.
Over/Under Prediction– Both teams have put up points in bunches this season and have not shown the ability to shut down a quality opponent to date. Michigan gave up 35 points last week to Indiana, hardly a juggernaut so look for MSU to put up a few points here. Robinson is not the type of player who can be shut down completely this season, and he can score quickly from anywhere on the field. Look for points to be put up on Saturday and for the total to just squeak by the over.
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