Northwestern Wildcats (1-3) at Michigan State Spartans (3-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 6, 2018, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Michigan State Spartans -11.5 -- Over/Under:
The Northwestern Wildcats and Michigan State Spartans meet Saturday in college football action at Spartan Stadium.
The Northwestern Wildcats look for their second road victory of the season to snap a three-game losing streak. The Northwestern Wildcats have won each of their last four road games. Clayton Thorson is completing 60.8 percent of his passes for 927 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Thorson has one or less touchdown passes in seven of his last nine games. Flynn Nagel and Bennett Skowronek have combined for 488 receiving yards and one touchdown while Cameron Green has 17 receptions. The Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 94.7 yards per contest, and Jeremy Larkin leads the way with 346 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 26.8 points and 379 yards per game. Blake Gallagher leads the Northwestern Wildcats with 38 tackles, Joe Gaziano has 2.5 sacks and JR Pace has one interception.
The Michigan State Spartans look for their fourth victory of the season to keep pace in the Big Ten East. The Michigan State Spartans have won each of their last six home games. Brian Lewerke is completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 999 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions. Lewerke has one or less touchdown passes in five of his last eight games. Cody White and Felton Davis III have combined for 578 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Darrell Stewart Jr. has 14 receptions. The Michigan State Spartans ground game is averaging 129.7 yards per contest, and Connor Heyward leads the way with 135 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Michigan State is allowing 22 points and 328.5 yards per game. Joe Bachie leads the Michigan State Spartans with 33 tackles, Kenny Willekes has four sacks and Khari Willis has one interception.
The Wildcats are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games, 20-6 ATS in their last 26 conference games and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall. The Spartans are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games, 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on grass. The Wildcats are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Michigan State, the road team is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 meetings and the underdog is 10-4 ATS in their last 14 meetings.
The Northwestern Wildcats seem to be slowly getting back to their roots, as the defense has improved and they nearly upset the Michigan Wolverines last week as big underdogs. Michigan State has won back-to-back games by double digits but continues to have a hard time putting teams away and Lewerke hasn't taken that next step many expected before the season started. The Northwestern Wildcats have covered eight of their last 10 games when a double-digit underdog. The Michigan State Spartans have failed to cover nine of their last 14 games when a favorite of double-digit points. Getting free points with Northwestern is always hard to turn down given how well coached this team is and the fact it doesn't beat itself. However, the Wildcats do nothing special offensively, so I truly question how they're going to move the ball. We saw Michigan put Northwestern in a box all second half last week, and the Spartans can do the same thing here. I'll eat the chalk.