College Football Odds & Picks for Northwestern vs. Michigan State: How to Bet These Big Ten Unders

College Football Odds & Picks for Northwestern vs. Michigan State: How to Bet These Big Ten Unders article feature image
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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images. Pictured: Peyton Ramsey.

  • The Big Ten West-leading Northwestern Wildcats will take on the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday.
  • Peyton Ramsey and Company hold an advantage over the Spartans on both sides of the ball, but is the value on the Wildcats?
  • Collin Wilson breaks down how he's betting this Big Ten total below.

Northwestern vs. Michigan State Odds

Northwestern Odds -13.5 [BET NOW]
Michigan State Odds +13.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -715 / +430 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 40.5 [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds updated Saturday afternoon and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today.
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Northwestern Wildcats

The Wildcats put on a defensive clinic in a Week 12 victory over Wisconsin. Northwestern didn’t give up a point on any Badger trip inside the 40-yard line. Quarterback Graham Mertz had just two passes over 20 yards and generated just one explosive drive in 17 possessions.

The Wildcats stuffed 15-of-37 rushing attempts and stranded Wisconsin on third downs at a 3-for-16 clip. They forced five total turnovers, including three Mertz interceptions that were enough to take control of the Big Ten West.

How can you not love this good, ol' fashioned defensive slugfest?

That's B1G Football. 😍

And we know @NUFBFamily fans love this: pic.twitter.com/f4b6AiUyM9

— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 21, 2020

Opponents are having no success passing the ball against Northwestern, which now holds a top-10 rank in Defensive Passing Success Rate and pass explosiveness. The trench has been just as ferocious. Northwestern ranks 12th in Line Yards and third in Stuff Rate.

Most importantly, the Wildcats moved to second in the nation in Finishing Drives, allowing just 1.8 points to opponents that cross the 40-yard line.


Michigan State Spartans

A COVID-19 disruption kept head coach Mel Tucker sidelined after a game with Maryland was canceled. Tucker commented that the Spartans needed the break to focus on more practices while the virus and injury issues played out within the program.

Michigan State has two losses by a combined score of 73-7 in the month of November. Tucker is dedicated to keeping the team in-house over the Thanksgiving holiday, using the day to continue building a culture.

The Spartans are in a “battle-but-building” phase, playing more true freshman than almost any other team in the country. The numbers may not matter to Tucker, but Michigan State is close to dead last in FBS in Rushing Success Rate, Havoc allowed, Line Yards and Offensive Finishing Drives.

Betting Analysis & Pick

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO VIEW COLLIN’S MATCHUP MATRIX

The biggest question in this game is how the Spartans will score after Northwestern held Wisconsin to just seven points. Purdue put up 20 points up with Aidan O’Connell’s arm, while Iowa’s touchdown drives started in Northwestern territory. Michigan State does not have O’Connell passing nor the defensive Havoc rank to start drives with excellent field position.

If Michigan State was able to string together a sustainable drive, putting up points in opportunity time has not been its forte. Weather will be a non-factor in this game, but this is a situational hangover spot for the Wildcats off a huge victory. Look for a low-scoring matchup, especially on the Michigan State side.

Picks: Under 43 | Michigan State Team Total Under 13 or better

[Bet Michigan State vs. Northwestern now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

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