Wolverines Slight Underdog at Wisconsin; Spartans Favored

Wolverines Slight Underdog at Wisconsin; Spartans Favored
By Lou Monaco

The Michigan Wolverines take their 4-0 mark to Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday to take on the struggling Badgers (1-2) at noon (FOX).

In Michigan online sports betting, the Wolverines come in as 2-point underdogs (BetMGM Michigan, Caesars, Borgata Sports) or 2.5-point underdogs (DraftKings, Tipico).

Moneyline ranges from +105 (DraftKings Michigan, BetMGM, Borgata Sports, Tipico) to +110 (Caesars). Over/under total is 43.5 points.

The Badgers are -125 moneyline favorites (DraftKings, BetMGM, Borgata Sports) or -130 (Caesars Michigan, Tipico).

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Close One for Wolverines

Last week, the Wolverines held a 20-3 halftime lead against Rutgers at home but in the second half couldn’t do anything offensively, hanging on for a 20-13 victory as the defense posted enough key stops.

Running back Hassan Haskins rushed for two TDs (12 carries, 41 yards) and Blake Corum had a team-leading 21 carries for 68 yards against the Scarlet Knights. Quarterback Cade McNamara completed 9-of-16 passes for 163 yards with no TDs or INTs.

Michigan has to get back to its offense it played in the first three games, otherwise a hungry Wisconsin team can steal the win at home.

Badgers Routed in 4th Quarter

The Badgers had a 13-10 lead early in the fourth quarter against Notre Dame last week at Soldier Field in Chicago, before giving up 31 straight points for a 41-13 loss.

Wisconsin sophomore quarterback Graham Mertz completed 18-of-41 passes for just 240 yards, one TD and four INTs. The Badgers running game accounted for just 74 yards, 54 of which came on the legs of Chez Mellusi on 18 carries.

Prediction: Something has to give here. The Wolverines, ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press poll, are not who they were in the second half against Rutgers and the Badgers certainly are not who they were in the fourth quarter last week. Wisconsin is going to come out with energy and enthusiasm right from the get-go and Michigan must withstand that early.

It will be close in the first half and then Michigan’s running game will take over. Corum and Haskins will grind out yards and McNamara will make smart decisions with the ball down the stretch to get an important road win in the Big Ten Conference. Michigan 27-17.

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Spartans Look to Stay Undefeated

Michigan State (4-0, 2-0 Big 10) brings back its unblemished record to Spartan Stadium for the second straight week when its hosts Western Kentucky (1-2) on Saturday, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1).

The 17th-ranked Spartans have opened as an 11-point favorite on BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook and PlayUp and a 10.5-point favorite at DraftKings. They are also a -400 money line favorite on PlayUp, -425 on DraftKings, -430 on Caesars and -450 on BetMGM.

Over/under totals range from 64-64.5 points on all four online sportsbooks.

Matt Coghlin's 21-yard field goal in overtime lifted the Spartans to a 23-20 victory over Nebraska last Saturday. The Spartans have won nine of their last 11 night games and are out to their best start since the 2015 team opened 8-0.

MSU Faces Air Attack

The Hilltoppers have a high-flying offense, ranking second in the nation in passing, third in passing efficiency, and totaling more than 400 yards per game through the air on the arm of quarterback Bailey Zappe.

WKU's last two losses have come by three points (38-35 at Army on Sept. 11) and two points (33-31 at home vs. Indiana on Sept. 25).

The Hilltoppers have shown they can hang in there with some solid programs and this will be another test.

Prediction: The Spartans’ next game after this week is at Rutgers, so MSU could possibly be overlooking this week's opponent. MSU showed resiliency against Nebraska, where the offense was sputtering but the defense showed up when it counted.

This week, the Spartans offense must show up and stay consistent as the Hilltoppers will throw all night, looking to put up points. The Spartans will be up to the task on both sides on the ball and will notch their fifth win of the season. Michigan State 37-31.



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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