This is Sparty: Take the Home Dog and Points Against Rival Michigan

Monday, October 15, 2018 8:27 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 15, 2018 8:27 PM UTC

If the No. 6 Michigan Wolverines are going to lay a full touchdown on the road to the No. 24 Michigan State Spartans, then we’re putting MSU in our college football picks.

Jason’s 2018-19 NCAAF picks record through Week 7:
11-7 ATS; 0-1 ML (minus-1.00 units), 0-2 Totals

No. 6 Michigan at No. 24 Michigan StateSaturday, noon ET (ABC)Free NCAAF Pick: Spartans ATSBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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There are three things in this world that are certain: death, taxes, and the Michigan State Spartans getting the cover against the Michigan Wolverines. At least that’s the way it has been since way back in 2008. The Spartans are 8-2 SU and 10-0 ATS versus their bitter rivals over the past decade, winning two of three outright since Jim Harbaugh took over the Wolverines program in 2015. Even Harbaugh’s tan pants can’t slow down this money train.

Yet here we are heading into Week 7 with Michigan already steaming up the NCAAF odds board. The Wolverines opened as 6.5-point road favorites for Saturday’s marquee game, but at press time, they’re -7 at most locations, with a few sportsbooks offering Michigan -7.5. That’s a significant line move across the magic number 7. You know we have to do it to them and take the other side.

Two Out of Three Ain’t Good Enough

The stat nerds have our back, as usual. Here’s how the numbers shake down for Saturday’s matchup:

FiveThirtyEight Elo-Based Projection: Michigan 66 percent
Equivalent Moneyline (using SBR Odds Converter): Michigan -194
Equivalent Point Spread (via Wizard of Odds): Michigan -5.5

Outstanding. Not only do we have our desired 2-point margin between the projections and the odds, we’re also crossing the magic 7-point barrier in the process. Granted, Michigan spoiled our plans last week by trouncing the Wisconsin Badgers 38-13 as 10-point home faves. But Michigan State shocked the world by dropping the Penn State Nittany Lions 21-17, cashing in as gigantic 13.5-point road dogs, so we’re not scurred about putting Sparty in our Week 8 college football picks.

DMOC: Dead Money On Campus

Let’s take a moment to thank the betting gods for college football. The NFL lines seem to get tighter every single year, but the FBS is a special place, where casual fans continue to shower their alma maters with blind action. The Wolverines (6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS) are seventh on the public money charts this year; Michigan State (4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS) is way down the list at No. 51. And fading the public is what this whole enterprise is all about.

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It's rivalry week in Michigan, where the Spartans have a long track record of ruining promising starts for the Wolverines. Since 2009...

Michigan's record before playing MSU: 45-8

Michigan's record AD (After Dantonio): 25-29

— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) October 15, 2018
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None of this is to suggest the Spartans are a dead-bolt lock for Saturday. It’s kind of ridiculous that they’ve covered 10 times in a row, and as they say, past performance does not guarantee future results. However, it does look like all the stars are aligned to make Michigan State the right pick in this situation, especially if you can get them at +7.5 or higher. Good hunting.

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