Rutgers vs Michigan State Odds, Predictions: Bet Saturday’s Favorite

Rutgers vs Michigan State Odds, Predictions: Bet Saturday’s Favorite article feature image

Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne.

Rutgers vs Michigan State Odds

Saturday, Nov. 12
12 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Rutgers Odds
-110o / -110u
Michigan State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Michigan State travels to match up with Rutgers in a Big Ten clash. Both programs have a 4-5 record and look to win two of their final three matchups to become bowl eligible.

Michigan State announced eight players would be suspended indefinitely after a video surfaced of them attacking a Michigan player after the game two weeks ago. That distraction didn’t seem to affect the Spartans play on the field as the group upset Illinois as three-possession underdogs last week.

Now they will match up against a Rutgers program that has been outscored by 66 points in its last two games. The Scarlet Knights' season has taken a dramatic turn since starting out 3-0 by losing five of its six matchups to conference foes.

Can Rutgers stop the bleeding, or will Michigan State’s shorthanded roster finally come back to bite them?

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights Struggling After Early Success

Rutgers won its first three games of the season against Boston College, Wagner and Temple. But now that we’ve entered November, we have learned none of those programs is very good.

Those results proved to be a mirage as the Scarlet Knights have been creamed by its fellow Big Ten competition. In conference matchups, the program has gone 1-5 while losing those games by an average margin of 25 points.

The program did have an impressive come-from-behind victory over Indiana. But since that matchup, the Scarlet Knights were shut out 31-0 to Minnesota. They led Michigan, 17-14, at halftime before being outscored 38-0 in the second half.

The offense has proven to be the anchor of the program through the first nine games. The group is averaging only 14 points per game to FBS competition, which ranks 128th in the nation. The Scarlet Knights are mustering up just 4.1 yards per carry and 250 yards per game.

A quarterback carousel has led Greg Schiano to name Gavin Wimsatt the starter. He’s completed only 43% of his passes while throwing two touchdowns to six interceptions in his five starts. He's a proven capable runner who has averaged 4.6 yards per carry.

The offense is much more reliant on its rushing attack thanks to the inability to find success through the air. Samuel Brown V averages 4.3 yards per carry as the lead back in a loaded backfield.

Can Michigan State Improve?

The Michigan State offense has been largely mediocre this season. The group is averaging 24 points per game, which ranks 81st in the nation.

The run game hasn’t been stellar, putting up just 3.5 yards per carry, which ranks 98th. But the Spartans have constantly found themselves playing from behind in games this season, resulting in a rush rate of just 45%.

That has led the offense to rely on the arm of Payton Thorne. The redshirt junior has completed 65% of his passes this season while averaging 7.1 yards per pass attempt. He’s tossed 14 touchdowns to go along with nine interceptions while averaging more than 210 yards per game.

The Spartans' defense has been torched through the air this season, allowing eight yards per pass attempt, which ranks outside the top 100. But luckily for them, they will match up against a one-dimensional Rutgers offense that is reliant on running the ball.

Michigan State’s defense has been strong against the rush, allowing just 4.1 yards per carry.

Rutgers vs Michigan State Matchup Analysis

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

Rutgers Offense vs. Michigan State Defense
Rush Success7255
Line Yards8865
Pass Success126117
Pass Blocking**4680
Finishing Drives10950
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Michigan State Offense vs. Rutgers Defense
Rush Success9658
Line Yards11312
Pass Success6835
Pass Blocking**1920
Finishing Drives6388
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling445
PFF Coverage23118
SP+ Special Teams45113
Seconds per Play28.5 (106)24.6 (30)
Rush Rate57.4% (43)46.5% (109)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Rutgers vs. Michigan State Betting Pick

Both programs need to win two of their final three games to become bowl-eligible, which leaves plenty on the line for this matchup.

The offenses haven’t been great this season, but Rutgers specifically has been an eyesore. The Scarlet Knights are one-dimensional and solely reliant on moving the ball on the ground. That plays right into the hands of Michigan State’s only strength, which is its front seven’s ability to stop the run.

Rutgers offense has scored more than 17 points only once in its seven conference games this season. That trend is set to continue against a strong Michigan State defense.

The Spartans will do enough offensively to move the chains behind quarterback Payton Thorne and come away with another road victory.

Pick: Michigan State -9.5 ⋅ Play to -10

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