NCAA Football Betting Favorite: Michigan State -1.5
Before the season started, Michigan fans were excited about Brady Hoke and the new path the football program was taking. After a 6-0 start, Hoke and the Wolverines are now ranked tenth in the country. Michigan State has just one loss this year, and the Spartans have beaten the Wolverines three straight times. There is no love lost between these intrastate rivals. Which team will come out on top in this one?
Denard Robinson may well be the most electrifying player in all of college football. Robinson has already ran for 720 yards and eight touchdowns this year. The Wolverines are trying not to run him any more than they have to, but it is hard to stop him from running when he is dominating a game. Robinson has thrown ten touchdowns as well, but he also has nine interceptions. More consistency in the passing game is needed if Michigan is going to contend for the Big Ten title. Michigan’s offense has benefited from the emergence of Fitzgerald Touissant as a weapon at the tailback spot. Michigan is averaging 38 points per game.
The Michigan offense was great the last couple years, but the defense had been terrible. The Wolverines defense is much improved this year, and that is the primary reason why this team is 6-0 right now. Michigan is allowing just 12.5 points per game so far in 2011, which is ninth best in the nation. This unit has excelled largely because they have been able to force a lot of turnovers. This game will be a good test for this defense to see how much progress they have made.
Kirk Cousins is the senior leader that guides the Michigan State offense. Cousins is an efficient quarterback who knows the Spartans offensive system very well. He is one of those guys that just consistently gets the job done. The Michigan State offensive line is an area of concern right now, because they are very dinged up. Le’Veon Bell, Larry Caper, and Edwin Baker form a terrific trio of tailbacks for Michigan State. Expect the Spartans to try to run the ball early and often in this game.
Who has the number one ranked defense in the nation? Not many people would have guessed it, but it is actually the Michigan State Spartans. Michigan State is allowing just 173 yards per game so far this season. Jerrell Worthy is the anchor of this defense from his defensive tackle position. The Spartans rank second in the nation against the pass and third against the run. At this point, it seems this defense simply doesn’t have a weakness. It should be noted that Michigan State has yet to face a top notch offense, but that will change this weekend.
The Wolverines are clearly a much better team than they were last year, but I still think the defense will struggle against solid Big Ten teams. The Spartans are a pretty good team, and I’ll take them at this small number.
Free College Football Pick: Michigan State -1.5
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