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Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans Line at -2.5

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Oct/15/2011

The Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans line was coming in at -2.5 in favor of the Spartans.

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Michigan State -2.5 & 49

Opening Line & Total: MSU -3 & 49

No. 11 Michigan looks to run its record to 7-0 when it travels to East Lansing on Saturday to take on in-state rival Michigan State, ranked 23rd in the nation.

MSU frustrated Denard Robinson last year, holding him to 86 rushing yards (4.1 YPC) and picking off three of his passes in a 34-17 win in Ann Arbor. This season’s Spartans defense is even better, leading the country in total yardage, ranking second against the pass and third against the run. MSU is well-rested coming off a bye week, and senior QB Kirk Cousins had a strong outing against the Wolverines last year, completing 18-of-25 passes (72%) for 284 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT. Michigan is 5-21 ATS (19%) in Big Ten play since 2008.

The Wolverines have scored 100 points in two Big Ten wins this year and Robinson had 454 total yards in last week’s 42-24 win at Northwestern. Although Robinson is fourth in the nation in rushing (135 YPG), he’ll be going up against what is statistically the best defense in the country in Michigan State (173 YPG). The Spartans are allowing just 109 passing YPG and 64 rushing YPG. They are also second in passing efficiency defense, as opposing QBs have thrown for 4.1 yards per attempt, 4 TD and 7 INT. That doesn’t bode well for Robinson who has 16 TD and 14 INT in Big Ten play for his career.

On the other side of the ball, Cousins has benefitted from great offensive line play, as his team has only allowed five sacks in five games. Junior RB Edwin Baker averaged 92 rushing YPG last year, but that number has dropped significantly to 50 rushing YPG in 2011. But considering he torched Michigan for 147 yards on 22 carries (6.7 YPC) last year, Saturday could be his breakout game. The Wolverines are slightly above average in run defense, ranking 58th out of the 120 FBS schools with 142 YPG allowed. The Michigan D-Line has been pretty ineffective all year. The team has just 1.8 sacks per game and ranks 108th in the nation in Tackles for Loss with a mere 4.4 per game.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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