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This game will go a long way in sorting out the logjam in the Big-10 Conference. Two teams who hate each other, two teams who are similar in how they play, both undefeated, and both coming off horrible seasons. No one expected much from either team coming into the season. It should be a classic game. Let’s check them out and see what angle we can bet if there is one.
TOTAL TEAM POINTS:
Michigan Total Team Points Total: 27.5 This seems a little high to me, even though the Wolverines are averaging 38 points per game. That number is skewed because they scored 44 against Western Michigan and 63 on Northern Illinois. It is true, that they have scored over 28 points in all of their games, but Rutgers. The Michigan State defense is holding opponents to 19 points per game and only Western Kentucky has scored more than 21 points against them. I would lean to Michigan under 27.5 total points.
Michigan State Total Team Points Total: 23.5 Michigan State is averaging 34 a game and have a better passing game. In all but two of their games, they have scored over 24 points. They are going up against a stout Michigan defense that is allowing less than 300 total yards per game and rank in the Top-25 in most defensive categories. 24 might be difficult to reach.
OVER/UNDER TEAM TOTALS: 51.5 Points Both teams are averaging 72 points when you combine their two average points scored per game. But, this is a game where both teams are going to try and establish the run. Michigan is averaging 253 rushing yards per game. Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins have combined for 1337 yards and 20 touchdowns. Michigan State will have to be able to stop the run. The Spartans also like to pound the ball and Kenneth Walker has 1036 yards rushing with 9 touchdowns. When you run the ball, it shortens the game and it limits the amount of points that are scored. Coupled with all of that, both teams are allowing a combined 33 points per game. Under 51.5 points is an option.
POINT SPREAD: Michigan is a 4.5 point favorite against the Spartans on the road. I have to think that is because Michigan has more tradition than the Spartans do. Neither team has played one of the better teams in the Big-10. Michigan’s best wins came against a wounded Wisconsin team and at Nebraska. Michigan State has good wins against Miami and that same Nebraska team. I’m not getting a good feeling either way on betting the point spread.
PAPA DUDES PICK: Under 51.5 Combined Points
AARON’S PICK: Michigan State +4.5
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