Michigan, Michigan State Both Favorites as They Try to Stay Unbeaten

Michigan, Michigan State Both Favorites as They Try to Stay Unbeaten
By Lou Monaco

Key games for both Michigan teams in the Big Ten occur Saturday, in what figures to be a big day for sports fans wanting to take advantage of Michigan online gambling. Michigan (5-0 overall, 2-0 Big Ten) travels to Nebraska (3-3, 1-2) to face the Cornhuskers at 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC). Also Saturday, Michigan State (5-0, 2-0) is on the road to face Rutgers (3-2, 0-2).

Entering Saturday night’s nationally televised contest, Michigan online sports betting site DraftKings Michigan has posted the Wolverines as a 3-point favorite (-150 moneyline). The Nebraska moneyline is at +130, and the game’s over/under point total is 50.

The Wolverines, ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press poll, are coming off an impressive 38-17 road victory in Madison last Saturday. In a place where it hadn’t won in two decades, Michigan limited Wisconsin to just 210 yards of total offense and a season-low 43 yards on the ground.

Leading 13-10 at halftime, Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara completed 17 of 28 attempts for 197 yards and two touchdowns to his No. 1 wide receiver Cornelius Johnson to secure the win.

Michigan’s running back duo of Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins was bottled up for much of the day, and the Wolverines averaged just 2.5 yards per carry. Another repeat performance can’t happen against the Cornhuskers, who have held both Michigan State and Northwestern to under 75 rushing yards in the last two games.

Nebraska is coming off a 56-7 victory over Northwestern last Saturday, after heartbreaking losses to Oklahoma and Michigan State. The Cornhuskers put together 657 yards of total offense with no turnovers. Impressive for a program that hasn’t had a win like that in a long time.

The Cornhuskers had a season-high 427 yards on the ground against Northwestern with seven rushing TDs. That gives Nebraska 20 on the season, which is good for second in the nation behind Air Force, a team that runs the triple option.

Quarterback Adrian Martinez, who ran for a career-best three touchdowns against the Wildcats, is 15th in the country in total offense at 312.5 yards per game. Redshirt freshman running back Rahmir Johnson has filled in admirably in the backfield due to injury over the last two weeks. He’s averaging over 5 yards per attempt and found paydirt twice last Saturday.

Michigan-Nebraska Prediction

This game will be a lot closer than expected and Michigan (despite winning) can’t have a second half like it did against Rutgers a couple of weeks ago at home.

Nebraska has some juice, enthusiasm, confidence and energy with the win against Northwestern and will bring it into this game. I just don’t know if the Huskers will be ready for this type of big win yet. Michigan 27, Nebraska 24.

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Michigan State Also Trying To Stay Unbeaten

The Spartans have opened as a 4-point favorite (-195 moneyline) on DraftKings and a 3.5-point favorite (-200 moneyline) on FanDuel for Saturday’s noon ET kickoff (BTN). Rutgers is a +165 underdog on DraftKings and is listed at +160 on FanDuel.

Over/Under total points ranges from 51 (DK) to 51.5 (FD).

Michigan State, in its final non-conference game of the season last week, jumped out to a 42-16 halftime lead over Western Kentucky, but the Hilltoppers scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to trim the lead to 14. The Spartans came away with a 48-31 victory.

Last Saturday, Rutgers was handed a lesson, as Ohio State came into New Jersey and led 45-6 at halftime. This with the Knights coming off an impressive second-half performance on the road against Michigan a week earlier.

The Spartans’ Jayden Reed continues to compile yards and touchdowns on both offense and special teams. He has 20 receptions for 463 yards and five touchdowns, having caught at least three passes in each game. He also has carried the ball five times for 38 yards and a score. He has averaged 30.7 yards on his six kickoff returns and has returned five punts for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

Against WKU, running back Kenneth Walker III resumed his impressive offensive production with 24 carries, 126 yards and 3 TDs.

Last October, Rutgers created four turnovers in a 38-27 victory at Michigan State in head coach Greg Schiano’s return. In victories over Temple and Syracuse this season, they won the turnover battle 4-0 and 3-0, respectively. In their two losses, they turned over the ball once at Michigan and three times vs. Ohio State without any takeaways in either game.

In four games against FBS opponents this season, Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral has averaged 147.8 passing yards per game with one TD pass in each. Bo Melton leads the team in receptions (24), receiving yards (253), and touchdown catches (2) despite missing a game. Aron Cruickshank ranks second with 17 receptions and 206 receiving yards. Nine other players have caught at least three passes this season.

Michigan State leads the all-time series, 8-4, including a 4-1 lead for games played in New Jersey. Last season, Rutgers beat Michigan State for the first time in the teams' seven meetings as members of the Big Ten.

Michigan State-Rutgers Prediction

This game will be close. Michigan State wants to avenge last year’s loss to Rutgers at home, and the Scarlet Knights want to show the world that last week’s blowout loss to Ohio State is not who they are or what they were.

This game is important to both coaches as well, and both Mel Tucker and Schiano need to show their fanbases and alumni they are going in the right direction. Rutgers needs it more and will get its second win over MSU in as many years. Rutgers 31, Michigan State 28.



Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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