MSU vs. Northwestern Prediction
Big Ten foes clash in Evanston on Friday night when Northwestern hosts Michigan State at 9:00 p.m. ET. The Wildcats opened as 4-point home favorites but now the Spartans are only 3-point dogs. Will Sparty cover?
153 Michigan State Spartans (+3) at 154 Northwestern Wildcats (-3); o/u 45.5
9:00 p.m. ET, Friday, September 3, 2021
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Michigan State Spartans Game Notes
Michigan State redshirt freshman QB Payton Thorne took first-team reps during Monday's practice. Thorne (6'2/210) taking first-team reps means that the competition is still on, but he wasn't the first quarterback on the field during the team drills portion of Monday's open practice. That honor went to grad transfer Anthony Russo. The good news for Michigan State is that, by most reports, both Thorne and Russo have played well in fall camp. That's made the task of naming a starter a difficult one for HC Mel Tucker and OC Jay Johnson. The bad news is that neither Thorne nor Russo has separated themselves from the other. Johnson said earlier this month that his hope was to have that separation occur ahead of the Spartans' September 3 opener against Northwestern.
Northwestern Wildcats Game Notes
Northwestern redshirt junior QB Hunter Johnson was named starting quarterback for the team's season opener against Michigan State on September 3. Johnson (6'2/215) is a former top-three QB recruit from the 2017 prep cycle who originally signed with Clemson before transferring over to Northwestern. He missed most of last season for personal reasons but appears to be back to his old self now. He completed 71 of 137 passes for 666 yards and a ghastly 1-fo-4 ratio last year, starting five games in the process. Northwestern just lost their starting running back and return only three starters on offense. They are going to have their hands full in the Big Ten this season.
Northwestern vs. Michigan State Betting Prediction
The road team is 14-3 against the spread in the last 17 meetings between these two teams, while the Spartans are 5-1 against the number in the last six meetings in Evanston. That said, the Wildcats are 5-0 against the spread in their last five home games are 8-1-1 against the number in their last 10 games overall and are 33-16-2 against the number in their last 51 conference games. On the other side, the Spartans are 6-18 against the spread in their last 24 games overall, are 3-12 against the number in their last 15 conference games and are 2-10 against the spread in their last 12 games as an underdog.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 1 PREDICTION: NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS -3