The instate battle of Michigan takes place on Saturday October 20th, 2018 as the Michigan Wolverines travel to East Lansing to take on the Spartans in a key top 25 showdown. For these two teams the showdown on Saturday will play a direct impact on how their season outcome could shake out.
The Wolverines enter Saturday’s matchup sitting tied for the Big Ten Conference lead in the East division with a 4-0 record in the conference while showcasing a 6-1 overall record. Meanwhile the Spartans enter this game sitting tied for 2nd behind those two teams in the Easte with a 2-1 record in the division and a 4-2 overall. A loss for the Spartans would derail any chance of an opportunity to play for the Big Ten crown, a loss for the Wolverines could derail their chances of a trip to the National Championship contest.
As you look at this matchup on paper the advantage leans to the Wolverines on both sides of the ball. On offense the Wolverines rank 52nd in the country in yards per contest, 28th in rushing yards and 23rd in points per contest.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Wolverines rank 2nd in yards allowed per game, 1st in passing yards allowed per game and 9th in points allowed per contest. On the other side the Wolverines enter this contest ranked 80th in yard per game and 85th in points scored per contest on the offensive side of the ball. On the defensive side of the ball the team is much higher ranked allowing the 37th fewest amount of yards, 1st in fewest rushing yards allowed per game and 41st in points allowed per contest.
Here are the keys to the game for both the Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks on Saturday October 13th, 2018.
Keys to the Game
Michigan Wolverines – Put the Ball in the End Zone
The Wolverines enter this contest looking like one of the best teams in the country. On Saturday they will need to showup on both sides of the ball if they want to pick up the much needed win to stay alive in the Big Ten. For the Wolverines to complete this task they will need to find a way to put the ball in the end zone. Entering this showdown the Wolverines have won just two of their last 10 contests in this matchup while failing to top more than 23 points in all ten contests. While the defense has shown up, the results have shown up as losses in the standings.
Michigan State Spartans – Get Creative on the Offensive Side of the Ball
When you look at the Spartans chances of winning this contest, they look low as their offense has struggled at times this season while the Wolverines defense ranks near the top as the best overall defense in college football. On Saturday, the Spartans coaching staff will need to get creative to throw off a Wolverines defense that just doesn’t allow a ton of scoring or yards to their opposing offenses. This creativity could feature the offense going to more of a fast pace spread style offense or one that features a few creativity plays such as an end a round or half back pass. Nonetheless the team will need to find a way to move the ball to win on Saturday.
NFL Betting Trends
Michigan Wolverines – The Wolverines enter this showdown sitting at 4-3 against the spread while failing to cover the spread in each of their first two road contests of the season. Despite the up and down success this year for sports handicappers the Wolverines enter this Big 10 matchup with a 4-1 mark against the spread against teams in the conference. Despite that success the team has failed to cover the spread in five straight matchups against teams with a winning home record.
Michigan State Spartans – The success against the spread is not there for the Spartans as well leading into Saturday’s showdowns. On the year the Spartans have covered the spread in just two of their overall six contests on the year while failing to cover in each of their first three home contests. Dating back to last season the Spartans have covered just one of their last five home contests.
Head 2 Head – This matchup has been one sided with the Spartans winning eight of their last 10 overall meetings. Along with that success the Spartans have covered the spread in ten of the last 11 overall meetings including in five straight meetings in East Lansing.
What’s next for these two teams?
Michigan Wolverines – The Wolverines return home to Ann Arbor for their bye week before another top 25 showdown with Penn State on November 3rd.
Michigan State Spartans – The Spartans will remain at home as they welcome the Purdue Boilermakers to town on October 27th.