College Football Odds, Picks for Michigan State vs Minnesota

College Football Odds, Picks for Michigan State vs Minnesota article feature image

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Athan Kaliakmanis (Minnesota)

  • Michigan State looks to turn its season around against Minnesota on Saturday.
  • The Spartans blew a big lead against Rutgers before getting mauled by Michigan. They've now lost five in a row.
  • So, are we fading Sparty? Alex Hinton has odds, picks and a prediction for the college football Big Ten duel on Saturday.

Michigan State vs Minnesota Odds

Saturday, Oct. 28
3:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Michigan State Odds
-110o / -110u
Minnesota Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

After blowing a 24-6 lead at Rutgers, there was little suspense in Michigan State's loss to arch-rival Michigan. The Spartans weren't competitive in a 49-0 loss to the Wolverines. It was their fifth consecutive loss and fourth in Big Ten play.

They will look to snap both of those streaks when they head to Minnesota this Saturday.

Minnesota also played a rival last week, escaping Iowa City with a 12-10 victory over Iowa after Cooper DeJean's game-winning punt return was called off because of a fair catch. The Golden Gophers certainly aren't complaining after they won in Iowa City for the first time since 1999 and brought the Floyd of Rosedale back to the Twin Cities.

They are also alive and well in the Big Ten West, with a tiebreaker over Iowa and the season finale with Wisconsin looming.

First, the Gophers will need to beat a Michigan State team that has won each of the last two meetings in Minnesota and holds a 30-18 lead in the all-time series. However, Minnesota won 34-7 last year in East Lansing.

This year's matchup may have a few less points.

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Michigan State Spartans

Junior Noah Kim started the first five games for Michigan State, but freshman Katin Houser has been under center the last two matchups.

Houser did some good things against Rutgers, throwing two touchdown passes without a turnover. However, he — and the Spartans' offense in general — couldn't get anything going against Michigan, and he finished with just over 100 passing yards.

UConn transfer Nathan Carter has been the focal point of the offense this season. The redshirt sophomore has 565 rushing yards and four touchdowns. With one first down, he can set a new career-high in rushing yards. However, he's averaged less than three yards per carry in three of his past five games.

The Spartans are 104th in Rushing Success Rate. They are moderately more successful throwing the ball, ranking 84th in Passing Success Rate.

However, the offensive line has not helped much in either area. The Spartans are 122nd in Line Yards and 94th in Havoc Allowed. As a result, Michigan State is 120th in scoring offense and 109th in Finishing Drives.

Defensively, Michigan State is allowing about 28 points per game. However, remove its two games against Michigan and Washington, and that average drops to 21 points per game. If Michigan State can hold Minnesota to 21 points or less, it will have an opportunity to pull the upset.

Michigan State's pass defense has been its weakness for several years now, but Minnesota is not the kind of team that will take advantage of that. Michigan State is 24th in Line Yards and ranks in the top 50 in both Rushing Success Rate and Havoc defensively. It holds an edge over Minnesota in two of the three areas.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota received welcome news last week when it got star freshman running back Darius Taylor into its lineup. He ran for just 59 yards, but still led the team in rushing. His streak of 100-yard rushing games came to an end. However, he's still the Big Ten's fourth-leading rusher with 591 yards in addition to four touchdowns.

Despite being a true freshman, Taylor's importance to Minnesota's offense has increased because of how much its passing game has struggled.

Quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis is just a redshirt sophomore himself. However, he's completing 53% of his passes and has six touchdown passes and six interceptions. He ranks 85th nationally in QBR, while Minnesota is 119th in Passing Success Rate.

When Minnesota's passing game does connect, Daniel Jackson is usually on the receiving end. The senior has 29 receptions for 387 yards and he's already tied his career-high with five touchdown receptions. He's coming off a season-high 101 yards on seven receptions in the win over Iowa.

Minnesota's defense is coming off its best performance of the season, holding Iowa to 127 yards of total offense and 2.3 yards per play.

Safety Tyler Nubin earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after he had four tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup. The redshirt senior is tied for second in the conference with three interceptions, and he's well on his way to receiving postseason honors.

Nubin leads a Minnesota secondary that ranks 45th nationally in PFF's coverage grade. It's also excelled taking the ball away, as it's tied for 23rd nationally in turnovers gained and tied for 22nd in turnover margin.

Forcing a couple of turnovers to give their offense short fields could help the Golden Gophers pull out a victory on Saturday.

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Michigan State vs Minnesota

Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Michigan State and Minnesota match up statistically:

Michigan State Offense vs. Minnesota Defense
Rush Success10475
Line Yards12233
Pass Success8476
Finishing Drives109132
Quality Drives11273
Minnesota Offense vs. Michigan State Defense
Rush Success7949
Line Yards7024
Pass Success119106
Finishing Drives10063
Quality Drives7171
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling7699
PFF Coverage12545
Special Teams SP+1729
Middle 85188
Seconds per Play25.9 (51)30.5 (124)
Rush Rate49.1% (91)63.9% (11)

Michigan State vs Minnesota

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Golden Gophers are 4-3 this season, but they have made a habit of winning ugly. In four of their seven games this year, they have scored 13 points or less. In those games, the under is 3-0 (even hitting at 30.5 last week) and is 4-3 overall in Minnesota's games this year.

Michigan State has scored 16 points or fewer in four of its last five games, and I expect that trend to continue on Saturday.

In this matchup, both defenses have an advantage in Line Yards. If both teams have limited success running the ball on early downs, they will be forced into long-yardage situations on third downs. Neither team has a passing attack conducive for third-and-long situations.

These programs have met just four times in the last 11 years, but three of these matchups have gone under, including last season.

On what will be a cold and dreary day in Minnesota, this has all the makings of a typical Big Ten game with a lot of punts and an emphasis on field position.

Don't expect many fireworks in this matchup.

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