The strategy is straightforward for the Wolverines: a steady diet of Blake Corum running the ball over and over and over.
Your defensive line is tired? Too bad. Have some more from No. 24, who has carried the ball 112 times for 666 yards and six touchdowns in Michigan’s previous four games.
A national ABC television audience will see this quick-footed ace control the game. And when head coach Jim Harbaugh calls for a pass play, he’ll only be turning to the country’s most-accurate quarterback.
Control is key, and long clock-bleeding drives and a smothering defense will fuel a fine fall day for the locals in Ann Arbor.
So, here’s a look at Michigan State vs. Michigan odds and a pick in Week 9 of the NCAAF season.
Michigan State vs. Michigan Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline
Here are live odds from around the betting market for Michigan State vs. Michigan at Michigan Stadium.
NCAAF · Sat (10/29) @ 7:30pm ET
|Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan|
Michigan State Spartans (3-4, 2-5 Against the Spread)
The Spartans would dominate the MAC this season. They zapped Western Michigan, 35-13, then trounced Akron, 52-0, in their first two games.
The rest has been forgettable as non-MAC foes have averaged more than 35 points against Sparty.
Michigan State halted a four-game skid last week at home against Wisconsin, but that was a bruiser. Meanwhile, Michigan was idle. It’s rested and re-energized for a second half that might conclude in a big one in Columbus.
So the Wolverines have had an extra week to prepare for this rival, and memories of last year must be fresh.
In the snow in East Lansing, both were top-10 squads and Sparty relied on the heavy-duty running of Kenneth Walker III to win, 37-33.
Walker, now running roughshod with the Seattle Seahawks, ran 23 times for 197 yards and five touchdowns, helping improve Michigan State to 8-0. It lost the next week at Purdue, then at Ohio State, capping its campaign with a bowl victory over Pitt.
Jalen Berger is no Kenneth Walker, at least not yet. Berger averages fewer than 53 yards a game on the ground. Plus, Michigan is formidable against the run, yielding a top-five national 2.9 yards per rush.
Strange as this sounds, it is true: The Wolverines’ defense this season (0.186 points per play, No. 3 in the country) is better than last year’s version with standout lineman Aidan Hutchinson (a sixth-best 0.250 PPP).
Sparty’s main weapon Saturday night might be Bryce Baringer, a former walk-on who got cut, went to Illinois, returned, and as a Super Senior, averages a national-best 51.4 yards per boot.
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No. 4 Michigan Wolverines (7-0, 4-3 ATS)
The Spartans have been getting pounded on the ground lately, as their past four opponents have chewed up 804 yards on 168 carries with six touchdowns.
Now comes Corum. His 901 yards are seventh in the nation and he’s tied at the top with 13 rushing touchdowns, with Brad Roberts of Air Force and Pitt’s Israel Abanikanda.
The 5-foot-9, 200-pound sophomore out of Virginia picked Michigan over Ohio State, Georgia, LSU, USC, and others. By the time he was 16, he’d had more D-I scholarship offers (17) than birthdays.
Harbaugh was impressed with Corum from the start of his collegiate career.
“From the day he got here, from the day he arrived on campus, he’s just a tremendous example of somebody that has an amazing, tremendous work ethic,” Harbaugh told Sports Illustrated during last season.
“He gets that from his dad, James Corum. The branch doesn’t fall too far from the tree … to watch it show up on Saturdays is something to behold. He’s a shining star. He’s playing great football.”
Corum keeps punctuating that statement this season. If he sticks around, he is on track for 4,000 yards and Michigan’s all-time top-five rushing chart.
Just about everywhere, the Wolverines are elite, while Michigan State is mediocre.
Quarterback JJ McCarthy, a 6-3, 200-pound sophomore from La Grange Park, Ill., leads college football with his 77.1-percent touch. The Spartans are in the bottom 10 by allowing the other guys to complete 68.3 percent of their attempts.
He’ll have Ronnie Bell, Cornelius Johnson, and Roman Wilson in his sights when Harbaugh chooses to mix it up, but the game plan calls for Corum to dominate, gain yards, and snuff out the minutes.
Do to Sparty what Sparty did to Michigan last season.
However, Michigan receivers and Corum must be on alert around senior linebacker Jacoby Windmon and sophomore defensive back Kendell Brooks, who have a combined nine forced fumbles this season. Windmon, who spent his first three seasons at UNLV, leads the country with six.
Those maize-and-blue schemes, so far, have led to a 5-1-1 mark to the Under. Michigan ekes ahead, stays ahead, widens the gap, and demoralizes foes with its impressive defense.
Michigan State vs. Michigan Sports Betting Recommendation & Pick
The Wolverines could amass 31 or 35 points, yield 10 or 13, and this one stays Under. That’s the script we envision. Nothing fancy, nothing extraordinary required.
Six of the past eight between these two in Ann Arbor would have finished under this total, which has crept up three points from its opening 51.5. That’s a bonus for our Under action.
Our Pick: Under 54.5 (-110)