Two Big 10 matchups highlight this batch of best bets on the college football gridiron this Saturday.
Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Wolverines (-13.5)
Moneyline: Spartans +425, Wolverines -550
Betting Total: 44 points
Time (Eastern), TV: Noon, FOX
The Michigan State Spartans typically play the Michigan Wolverines tough, having covered in 10 of their last 11 meetings, but they’ve been trending so poorly of late that Michigan seems worth a wager in Ann Arbor this weekend.
The Spartans have failed to cover in five straight contests, dropping four in a row straight-up. Last week’s 37-34 loss was particularly gut-wrenching as they blew a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter to Illinois. Michigan State’s offense is not so great that they can overcome mental mistakes, as demonstrated by the 13 giveaways they’ve suffered during four straight defeats. In fact, they’re 106th in the country in points per game and will face a Wolverines defense that’s 12th in the corresponding category.
Meanwhile, Michigan has turned a corner since an embarrassing 35-14 loss to Wisconsin, going 5-1 straight-up and against the spread with their only loss coming to Penn State in Happy Valley. They beat two ranked programs in Notre Dame and Iowa in that span. Look for the Wolverines’ tailback tandem of Zach Charbonnet and Hassan Haskins to continue the fine run they’ve been on and rub salt in the wound of their in-state rival.
The play: Wolverines spread
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Iowa Hawkeyes (-3)
Moneyline: Golden Gophers +135, Hawkeyes -155
Betting Total: 44.5 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 4 p.m., FOX
Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City is the site for Saturday’s important showdown between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Golden Gophers have covered in six straight, and their victory over fourth-ranked Penn State last week was probably their most impressive score of the season. Sophomore signal caller Tanner Morgan was highly-efficient through the air, as he has been throughout most of the campaign, going 18-of-20 for 339 yards and three TDs. Morgan draws a tough assignment against Iowa’s 15th-ranked defense by yards allowed per play, but the Hawkeyes can expect a heavy dose of the effective Rodney Smith-led running attack to help keep Minnesota’s offense balanced.
Iowa’s attack will be hard-pressed to match scores against the Golden Gophers’ defense, which has allowed just 13.4 points per game over their last five contests. Hawkeyes quarterback Nate Stanley has completed just over 60 percent of his throws in 2019 for a modest 7.4 yards per attempt with a 12-5 TD-INT ratio. The rushing attack behind him ranks just 95th in the nation.
The play: Golden Gophers spread