Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds page for this Big Ten Conference matchup at Spartan Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
Off a bye week
Michigan is 3-0 SU under head coach Brady Hoke coming off a bye week, as it has outscored opponents by a 122-40 margin in that situation.
The Wolverines have scored 40 or more points in each of their last three contests, with each of those games going OVER the betting total.
Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 0-2 SU/ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 7 points, with the UNDER cashing in both of those opportunities.
Pushing opponents around
Michigan State is one of the more physical teams in college football, which has led to a 7-1 SU and 4-3-1 ATS record, while winning the statistical battle in each of those contests.
The Spartans will want to establish a running game, considering the team that has gained the most yards on the ground has won 40 of the last 43 meetings in this in-state rivalry.
College football handicappers will have an interest in backing the road underdog in this spot, especially since Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner leads the Big Ten in averaging 328.4 total yards per game.
Gardner’s main target will be wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, who ranks second in the conference in averaging 118.7 receiving yards per game.
Getting after it defensively
Through eight games, Michigan State’s defense ranks first among FBS teams in allowing just 215.5 yards per game—leading directly to just 12.8 first downs per contest.
The Spartans also rank in the top five nationally in scoring, rushing and passing defense.
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total for their college football pick, as the OVER is 9-3 in the Wolverines’ last 12 overall games.
Michigan State’s defensive numbers are obviously impressive, but it hasn’t faced a lot of opponents with a capable offense thus far in 2013.
College Football Pick: Over 46.5