Michigan State vs. Minnesota Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Michigan State is favored on the road on Saturday, as the Spartans are getting odds of -4 points against the Gophers. The over/under total has been set at just 40 points. Michigan State has won four straight meetings with the Gophers, but Minnesota has covered in six of the last seven meetings. Today’s game takes place from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota and will air live on the Big Ten Network.
Michigan State is coming off a big 14-10 win at Michigan last week to improve to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Big Ten. The Spartans are now 4-1 against the spread as well, covering in all four wins. MSU has a very strong defense, as the Spartans are allowing 16.4 points and 258.6 yards per game. Offensively, MSU is putting up just 22.4 points and 394 yards per game. The Spartans aren’t terribly dynamic on offense as QB Brian Lewerke is the leading rusher with 309 yards while passing for 1,057 yards and nine touchdowns. L.J. Scott has 214 rushing yards, but he is listed as questionable for this game with an undisclosed injury.
Minnesota has lost its last two games to fall to 3-2 on the season and 0-2 in the Big Ten. The Gophers are 2-3 against the spread this season and just 1-2 ATS at home. Minnesota is holding opponents to 17.2 points and 314.4 yards per game. On offense, Minnesota is putting up 28 points and 359.8 yards per game. The Gophers have a good ground game, averaging 190 yards per game. Rodney Smith has run for 398 yards to lead the team while Shannon Brooks has 315 yards and five touchdowns. Conor Rhoda has thrown for 786 yards and five touchdowns, but also has four interceptions.
Michigan State was able to rise to the occasion last week and beat Michigan in Ann Arbor. Can the Spartans bring that same intensity tonight on the road? I am not sure they will. MSU is playing on the road for just the second time, but the motivation of being a 13-point underdog to your biggest rival isn’t there. The Gophers need this win after starting 0-2 and P.J. Fleck certainly knows how to fire up his players. Minnesota has dominated this series at the betting window and I think this game is an upset special waiting to happen.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: MINNESOTA +4