Upcoming Match-ups

Michigan Laying 13.5 at Home vs Michigan State; Spartans 2-7 ATS in 2019

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in College Football

Updated Apr 6, 2020 · 10:58 AM PDT

Jim Harbaugh walking across the field at the Big House
Could Jim Harbaugh be heading to the NFL in 2020 to coach the Panthers? Photo By Maize & Blue Nation (Flickr) [CC License].
  • The Michigan Wolverines are 13.5-point favorites over rival Michigan State in Week 12 (Nov. 16)
  • The Maize and Blue are 5-1 since an embarrassing 35-14 loss at Wisconsin in Week 4
  • Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio owns an 8-4 record against the Wolverines

The Michigan Wolverines (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten, No. 15 CFP) host the Michigan State Spartans (4-5, 2-4 Big Ten) this Saturday at 12:00 PM ET. The home team is roughly a two-touchdown favorite against its in-state rival.

Michigan State Spartans vs Michigan Wolverines Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Over/Under
Michigan State +475 +13.5 (+100) O 44 (-110)
Michigan -600 -13.5 (-120) U 44 (-110)

Odds taken Nov. 14.

When considering the Michigan State vs Michigan odds, one needs to consider several factors.

Maize and Blue are Red Hot

Since that gut-punch loss in Madison, not only is Michigan 5-1 straight up, but Jim Harbaugh’s program is 5-1 against the spread. The ATS hot streak for the Wolverines includes covers as heavy favorites against Rutgers and Maryland, a blowout win over Notre Dame as a slight favorite, and a 28-21 loss as a 7.5-point underdogs at Penn State.

This is an unlikely run for a program with the dubious distinction of coming up short in big games since Harbaugh took over in 2015.

There’s no doubt that sentiment is shared by many Michigan fans. And remember, Harbaugh has yet to beat Michigan State in The Big House.

Still Reeling?

You would think this is the year for Harbaugh to change that trend. Michigan State blew a 25-point lead last Saturday in a 37-34 loss to Illinois that head coach Mike Dantonio was still lamenting this week. Sparty has lost four straight and has gone just 24-23 since qualifying for the College Football Playoff in 2015, putting the feisty 63-year-old coach on the hot seat.

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But if there’s one game that has defined Dantonio during his time in East Lansing, it’s this one. He’s 4-1 in Ann Arbor and been able to rally the Spartans to the tune of an 8-4 record since taking over the Michigan State program.

Intense … and Intense

That word aptly describes this rivalry between two schools separated by only 60 miles. It’s also how Dantonio chose to describe Harbaugh in two words to the media Tuesday. In turn, the Michigan coach called his counterpart a “master motivator.” The two have traded numerous barbs over the last five seasons, but seem to be taking the high road this week.

But how will it play out on game day? Michigan State’s offense has been woeful this season, ranking 12th in the 14-team Big Ten in scoring offense and 13th in rushing offense.

Meanwhile, Michigan has been stout on defense, ranking third in the conference in both total defense and pass defense. Under 44 is a solid play.

But 13.5 points is too much to give a wounded program that has proven it can get up for this game. Yes, the Wolverines have played well the last month-and-a-half. And yes, the Spartans have been mediocre since peaking four years ago. But don’t sleep on Sparty in this spot. I see a 24-13-type Michigan win, and love Michigan State and the points at even money.

Pick: Michigan State +13.5 (+110)

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