Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans – College Football, Saturday, October 30, 2021
Michigan and Michigan State have battled for years, dating back to 1898. There have been several thrilling finishes over the years, but the Wolverines have the edge for now.
The Wolverines are 71-37-5 over the Spartans, but Jim Harbaugh has lost three of the past five meetings. The expectations are lofty for both programs, but the Wolverines will be looking for their appearance in the CFP.
Michigan State appeared in the 2015-16 CFP. Many forget they have an appearance, and we have yet to have a third Big Ten team reach the CFP. Penn State has yet to appear in the playoff, but they have two losses after inexplicably losing to Illinois in nine overtimes.
The loser of this matchup in East Lansing will likely finish second or third at best in the division. Neither has played Penn State or Ohio State. The games are just beginning, and there is plenty left in the tank for both programs.
Entering Halloween weekend, the Big Ten has a bevy of potential CFP contenders. Ohio State is surging, but the Big Ten East has had a few other teams surging in October.
November is nearly upon us. Here are your latest odds via SportsBetting.ag involved in the Big Ten clash between Michigan and Michigan State.
No. 6 Michigan vs. No. 8 Michigan State
The value here would be on the home squad getting points. While the Spartans are coming off a bye, they have struggled as a home dog.
MSU has failed to cover in five of their past seven home games when they are an underdog. They have only won two of them outright, so the trend is against Sparty.
Michigan has not fared well as a road favorite either. Something has to give, and a trend will change in this rivalry. The Wolverines are 3-5 in their past eight games as a road favorite against the spread.
Harbaugh has won eight of his past ten road games as the favorite, meaning that the trend could be worth a look.
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Why Michigan Will Win
The Wolverines are playing how Jim Harbaugh wants them to as they enter the end of October. The backfield tandem of Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins has been devastating for the opposition to contain.
Haskins and Corum are both in the Top 10 of the Big Ten for rushing yards. Corum brings more flashy explosiveness, which can make defenders miss in open space.
Both backs combined for 42 carries, 229 yards, and four rushing touchdowns. Corum added four receptions for 23 yards thanks to the acceleration he has in the open field. Harbaugh is doing everything he can to make life easier for the quarterback.
Cade McNamara is the starter, and he only had 27 passing attempts for 129 yards. The underneath routes and check-downs keep Michigan moving the ball down the field due to their dominant rushing attack.
The Wolverine defense is another key to victory for them over Sparty. The Wolverines have allowed 14.3 points per game thus far, which is second-best in the FBS. Trailing Georgia is a great vibe to have as a defense, which gives Michigan the goods to pick up a monumental road victory.
Why Michigan State Will Win
The Spartans have a talented backfield as well, led by Kenneth Walker. The lead back for MSU is three yards shy from 1,000, and his skills are up there with anybody.
Walker has two games of 200-plus yards and has posted three of 170-plus yards. Michigan’s run defense is stifling, but they have not seen an offense like Michigan State’s.
The MSU running game has been great, but the passing attack has been respectable. MSU is No. 51 in passing entering the week. They are averaging 251.3 yards per game despite not threading it like many offenses. Jayden Reed and Jalen Nailor are two explosive wideouts that can take the top off the defense.
Stopping the run has been a joy for the Michigan State defense, and that is where they can stun the nation. The Spartans are No. 31 against the run, and limiting Corum and Haskins should decide the game.
Michigan vs. Michigan State Prediction
The Spartans and Wolverines are going to be highly entertaining. The winner will be the one who dominates at the line of scrimmage. Roll the sleeves up and expect to see a lot of three yards and a cloud of dust.
Running the ball downhill is big boy football. The Big Ten has been known for that for years. Harbaugh winning football is at its best when the hog mollies are performing well. When Harbaugh teams have run the ball well, they are a Top 10 squad.
Michigan has had their best rushing attack in years, and they are on a collision course with Ohio State. The winner of that game will likely head to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game. A loss here would set them back, and many will question Harbaugh.
Michigan vs. Michigan State Pick
Harbaugh would love nothing more than capturing Michigan’s first conference title since 2004. Their last outright conference crown was in 2003. They have yet to appear in the Big Ten title game and haven’t been close enough to appear in the CFP.
Michigan needs this game to prove they are no phony. Michigan State has already exceeded their preseason win total and expectations. Mel Tucker is the coach of the year at the moment, but he is going up against a challenging slate for the next six weeks.
Go with the better team for this play. Michigan and their defense should swarm the Spartans, so feel confident with the selection even if the game comes down to the wire.