[3:30 PM] Northwestern @ Michigan State

Who will WIN this matchup?

Northwestern Wildcats (2-3)

@ Michigan State Spartans (2-3)
Current odds:

Northwestern: (+210)

Michigan State: (-250)


ESPN simulations have Northwestern as XX% favorites to cover the spread.

XX% of sports bets are currently on Michigan State to win as (TBD) underdogs.

The line for this game is Michigan State by 4.5 points.

Defending Big Ten champion Michigan State looks to end a three-game losing streak Saturday, when it hosts conference rival Northwestern. The Spartans were a top-10 team prior to the slide but have struggled with injuries and an inconsistent offense in falling below .500.

While the Wildcats’ offense got a lot of headlines for the win over Iowa, the defense did just as much in the team’s first conference victory of the season, holding the Hawkeyes to just 121 yards on the ground. With Michigan State likely to try to get its offense going behind its running game, coach Pat Fitzgerald’s squad is going to need a similar effort against the Spartans. The Wildcats allowed more than 300 yards in their conference-opening loss to Nebraska, but the team effort to focus on stopping the ground attack is going to be needed this week, as well as much of the rest of the season, if they are going to continue to turn things around.

This is just what Dantonio didn’t want to happen – his senior starter at quarterback struggles, opening the door for a controversy at the position not even midway through the season. O’Connor was unable to get the offense moving against BYU and gave way to Terry, who came off the bench in the second half and recorded 63 yards passing and a touchdown but also threw an interception. This week, O’Connor likely will get the start, but like in the team’s upset at Ohio State last year, expect the two to rotate at the position unless one really steps forward and finds his groove.

Northwestern LB Jaylen Prater (9.2) and S Godwin Igwebuike (8.8) combine to make up the top tackling duo in the Big Ten.

Michigan State S Montae Nicholson recorded a career-high 17 tackles in the loss to BYU, the most by a Spartan since Eric Smith registered 19 against Notre Dame in September 2004

The Spartans (21) and Wildcats (20.6) rank 12th and 13th, respectively, in the conference in scoring average – ahead of only Rutgers (18.2).


StreakSmarts Pick: Michigan State Spartans 

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick