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Penn State vs. Michigan State Week 13 Picks: Spartans a Good Home Underdog Bet

Penn State vs. Michigan State Week 13 Picks: Spartans a Good Home Underdog Bet
Payton Thorne of the Michigan State Spartans throws a pass during the first half of a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images via AFP.

In a game that is flying under the radar, both the Nittany Lions and the Spartans have plenty to play for. Find out who we like with our Penn State and Michigan State picks.

Last week, Michigan State controlled its own destiny and had a chance to reach the College Football Playoff. After a blowout loss against Ohio State, everyone is questioning how talented the Spartans (7-4 against the spread) truly are.

Michigan State lost two of its last three games, but the Spartans still have a chance to bounce back against Penn State. The Nittany Lions (7-4 ATS) had a strong start to the season winning their first five games. Since then, they failed to live up to the hype.

Here are my picks and predictions for the college football Week 13 matchup between Penn State and Michigan State (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Penn State vs. Michigan State Game Info

Date/Time: Saturday, Nov. 27, 3:30 p.m. EST
TV: ABC
Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Weather: 33 degrees, no rain

Penn State vs. Michigan State Odds Analysis

When the lines opened, this game was considered a pick ‘em. Now, the line has shifted with Penn State becoming a 1.5-point favorite. This has added value to the Spartan side of the spread.

There has been a disagreement on the point total. It began at 52. Some sportsbooks dropped it to 51.5, and others have remained steady. FanDuel actually bumped it up to 52.5, but each side still has -110 odds.

Penn State vs. Michigan State Betting Picks

Michigan State +1.5 (-110) ★★★★
Under 52.5 (-110) ★★★

SEE ALSO: Alabama vs. Auburn Week 13 Picks

Penn State vs. Michigan State Betting Predictions

Michigan State +1.5 (-110)

Picking a ranked home underdog in a rivalry game seems like a no-brainer. Penn State is an underrated team, but the Spartans proved early in the season that they can win tough games. Losing to Ohio State should not diminish their early success.

Michigan State has the best running back in the Big Ten. Kenneth Walker III is a mauler when he gets the ball. He saw just six touches against Ohio State due to the wide margin and a nagging injury. If he can play his regular role against Penn State, the Spartans will look like a completely different team.

Michigan State’s secondary was the reason why Ohio State dominated. It was abundantly clear that the Spartans could not keep up with the elite receivers on the Buckeyes roster. Penn State does not have a quarterback who can execute like CJ Stroud, and their receivers are not on the same level either.

The injuries for Michigan State are a concern, but they should have balance. If news comes out that Walker is unable to play a significant role, reconsider this bet. Until then, take the Spartans to cover at home.

Under 52.5 (-110)

This is a low total, but neither offense has an explosive side. Both teams would rather run the ball and win in the trenches. Fans can expect an old-fashioned game of Big Ten football this weekend.

Walker will help Michigan State sustain long drives. He may break a run or two free, but he will mostly move the chains with a cloud of dust.

On the other side, Penn State will run more than they pass. They may try to test the MSU secondary, but they aren’t built to win with an explosive passing attack. This complementary style of play will cause both teams to chew the clock and limit the total number of drives.

At this point, we can expect a low-scoring affair. Either team could struggle on offense, and this likely needs both teams to score at least 20 to hit the Over. I don’t see that happening with stout defenses and powerful run games.

Picks made on 11/24/2021 at 1:27 p.m. ET

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