We're focusing in on a rivalry game. Where are we going with our college football picks this weekend?
The college football odds opened with the Spartans favored by 4.5 points, but some early action has pushed that number to as high as even six. Michigan State is 4-3-1 ATS, while Michigan is 4-3 ATS for the year.
The total is at 56.5 at most of the top sportsbooks. The OVER has gone 5-2 in the Wolverines' seven games so far, but the UNDER is 5-3 for the Spartans.
The Wolverines bounced back after a disheartening 43-40 loss to Penn State by overcoming Indiana 63-47 in another offensive showdown. They will have been off for two weeks ahead of this road battle with their rivals.
Devin Gardner had an insane performance against the Hoosiers, throwing for 503 yards and two touchdowns and then running 81 times for three scores. You know it's a good day at the office when you account for eight total touchdowns.
It was Jeremy Gallon that benefited in the passing game, as he went off for 14 catches for 369 yards and two touchdowns. He set all kinds of receiving records in the win.
Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint also found success, running 32 times for 151 yards and four trips to the endzone.
As good as Michigan was on offense, their defense really let them down, surrendering 47 points and 572 total yards to Indiana. That means the Wolverines have now allowed 87 points over their past two games.
Michigan State Spartans
Aside from that one blemish against Notre Dame, the Spartans have been looking very good. Over their last four games, they've won by an average margin of close to 20 points, though the competition hasn't exactly been too tough.
Last weekend, Michigan State had no trouble at all dispatching Illinois in a 42-3 rout. They easily covered as 7.5-point favorites on the road.
It was about as dominant of a performance on both sides of the ball as you're ever going to see. The Spartans racked up 477 total yards of offense and held the Fighting Illini to just 128 yards.
Connor Cook was about as efficient as can be, completing 15-of-16 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns. He found Keith Mumphery, Bennie Fowler, Josiah Price for scores. In the running game, Jeremy Langford, Delton Williams, and Nick Hill all ran for at least 70 yards, with Langford recording two touchdowns and Williams also finding paydirt.
The defense stood out again though and further padded their already gaudy statistics. Michigan State is ranked number one in total defense, thanks to a run defense that's allowing 55.0 yards per game (#1 in college football) and a pass defense (#3) that's giving up 160.6 yards per matchup.
College Football Pick
The Wolverines lead the all-time series 68-32-5 and have gone 35-23-2 in the trophy series so far. Michigan also won this game last year (12-10) in an all-out defensive battle.
All in all, it's been very worrying to see the Wolverines' collapse on defense over the last couple games, but they're still getting it done in terms of offensive execution. Gardner is playing at such a high level that you have to figure he'll be able to keep his guys competitive this weekend.
Let's not forget Michigan's also had an extra week to rest up and cook up a nice game-plan for this visit to Spartan Stadium.
You may want to consider some small action on the UNDER, given how strong both teams are defensively (especially Michigan State), but we also like the idea of sprinkling something on the Michigan money-line.
NCAAF Pick: Michigan Wolverines +190