Free College Football Pick - Michigan State vs Michigan with Betting Odds
by Jason Sharpe - 10/7/2010
Two undefeated teams take the field in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST when the No. 17-ranked Michigan Wolverines (5-0 overall and 3-2 ATS) play host to the No. 16-ranked Michigan State Spartans (5-0 overall and 3-2 ATS). Michigan comes into the game a 4.5-point spread favorite with the total at 64.5 in the game.
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio will re-join his football team this Saturday just three weeks after suffering a mild heart attack after his Spartans beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 34-31, in a overtime thriller. Dantonio will coach the game from the Michigan press box as his squad comes in off an emotional win last Saturday over the Wisconsin Badgers, 34-24. The Spartans have now scored 30 or more points in all five of their games this season and have out gained all five of their opponents along the way. The win last week over Wisconsin helped the Spartans stop their five-game losing streak ATS when facing teams with winning records.
Revenge will be heavily on the minds of the Wolverines in this one as Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez has yet to beat the Spartans in his first two tries. It has been more than 40 years since Michigan has lost three straight games to MSU (1965-67). Though many feel that this year’s Wolverines team may be close to returning things back to the glory days of just a few short years ago, let’s still keep in mind how far things have fallen at Michigan as this was a program that finished last in the Big Ten standings in 2009. The Wolverines are just 4-12 as a favorite the last 16 times in this role while going just 5-16 their last 21 games ATS in conference play and 2-7 straight up in conference games at the “Big House”.
When you talk Michigan football you have to talk about their all-everything quarterback Denard Robinson, who has been setting the college football world on fire this year. Robinson has been breaking records and it seems it’s happening almost every week. He leads all of college football in rushing by almost 200 yards on the season and has the high-powered Wolverines offensive attack rated second in the nation at 565 yards per game.
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But the big downfall for Michigan once again this year lies in a defense that can’t seem to stop anybody. Their defense allowed 393 yards per game last year and this year things have been even worse as they rank 102nd in the nation (out of 120 teams) in yards allowed at 434 per game, with the Wolverines ranking dead last in all of CFB with 308 yards per game given up through the air.
For as much credit as the Michigan offense deserves, the Spartans offense has been very solid as they come in averaging 36 points scored per game and 461 yards of offense on the year. The strength of the Spartan offense comes from having two of the nation’s top rushers in Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell, who combined are averaging more than 200 yards a game rushing.
The big difference between these two teams lies in the Spartans defense, which is allowing more than 100 yards per game less then the Wolverines defense at just 329 yards allowed per contest. The Spartans have not only beaten the Wolverines on the scoreboard the last two seasons, they have dominated them at the line of scrimmage by out gaining Michigan by nearly 400 yards in these last two games.
Michigan badly needs a big win for their troubled program and their coach, who came into the year on the hot seat. This is still a Spartans team that was much better then the Wolverines the past two seasons and even though the Wolverines have closed the gap, have they closed it enough for Michigan to be favored and by this much? Michigan State will not only be focused coming into this big inter-state rivalry game as the underdog, but they should also be fired up with their coach returning to the team after his health scare. It should be a close game, close enough that getting points is an added bonus here. Michigan pulls out a last second 35-34 win and Michigan St gets the cover.
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