Michigan St. vs. Northwestern Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Michigan State is favored on the road, as the Spartans are getting odds of -2.5 points against Northwestern. The over/under total has been set at 41.5 points. The road team has won five straight meetings in this series and the covered the spread in the last four meetings. The public is currently putting 72 percent of the wagers on Michigan State on the road. Today’s game takes place from Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois and the contest will air on ESPN.
Michigan State is coming off a 17-9 win at home over Indiana last week to improve to 6-1 on the season and 4-0 in the Big Ten. The Spartans were able to get a backdoor cover with a late touchdown last week to move to 5-2 against the spread this year. MSU is holding opponents to just 16.9 points and 262.1 yards per game this year, while the offense is averaging 22.7 points and 372.7 yards per game. Brian Lewerke has thrown for 1,362 yards and 10 touchdowns while also rushing for 313 yards and three scores. L.J. Scott is the leading rusher with 495 yards and four scores while Felton Davis III has 25 catches for 310 yards and five touchdowns.
Northwestern is coming off a 17-10 OT win at home over Iowa to improve to 4-3 on the season and 3-1 in the Big Ten. The Wildcats are 4-3 against the spread on the season and 2-2 ATS at home. Northwestern is allowing just 23.3 points and 367.1 yards per game while the offense is putting up 26 points and 393.7 yards per contest. Clayton Thorson has thrown for 1,688 yards and eight touchdowns, but also has nine interceptions. Justin Jackson has rushed for 603 yards and six touchdowns.
Michigan State makes me nervous. Last week the Spartans allowed Indiana to hang around before finally pulling away at the end to cover. MSU can’t let Northwestern hang around at home, but the Wildcats are a feisty bunch. Northwestern will look to match MSU’s physicality, but I think the Spartans will slowly tire out the Wildcats. Look for this game to be close before MSU gets an insurance score late to cover once again. MSU has covered in its last four trips to Northwestern and the road team is 13-3 ATS in the last 16 of this series.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: MICHIGAN STATE -2.5