Michigan State lost its shot at the Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff with last week’s loss to Ohio State, but there is still something to play for this week — the Land Grant Trophy. Penn State has won the last two meetings, but the series is tied, 17-17-1.
Despite the fact that Michigan State has the better record, most sportsbooks have the Spartans as home underdogs to the visiting Nittany Lions. Here are the betting odds for Saturday’s game.
Michigan State Vs. Penn State Betting Odds
|DraftKings||Michigan State +2 (-110)|
Penn State -2 (-110)
|Michigan State +105|
Penn State -125
|Over 52 (-115)|
Under 52 (-105)
|BetMGM||Michigan State +1.5 (-110)|
Penn State -1.5 (-110)
|Michigan State -105|
Penn State -115
|Over 51.5 (-110)|
Under 51.5 (-110)
|Caesars||Michigan State +1 (-110)|
Penn State -1 (-110)
|Michigan State +100|
Penn State -120
|Over 51.5 (-115)|
Under 51.5 (-105)
|BetRivers||Michigan State +2 (-109)|
Penn State -2 (-112)
|Michigan State +105|
Penn State -127
|Over 52 (-108)|
Under 52 (-113)
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Penn State Nittany Lions (7-4 SU, 7-4 ATS)
After climbing up to No. 4 in the polls early in the season, Penn State has lost four of its last five games to fall out of contention in the Big Ten and in the College Football Playoff. But it got back on track with a win last week against Rutgers despite the roster getting ravaged by a flu outbreak.
Head coach James Franklin has said he hopes to get everyone back this week, but 21 players missed the Rutgers game. The offensive line started down two starters and ended up losing two more during the game. It was not long before quarterback Sean Clifford ended up having to leave as well.
Christian Veilleux finished the game at quarterback. He had a nice day (15-24 for 235 yards and three touchdowns). Despite also being down several key players, the defense stepped up big for Penn State, holding Rutgers to 160 total yards. It will have its hands full against a Michigan State offense that will be looking for a bit of redemption after getting dominated by Ohio State last week.
When relatively healthy, the Penn State offense can play with anyone. The Nittany Lions struggle to run the ball but make up for it by having a solid passing game and one of the stingiest defenses in the country. Opposing offenses are averaging 15.5 points per game this season. The run defense will get tested by Kenneth Walker, who will be looking for redemption after a dismal outing against Ohio State.
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Michigan State Spartans (9-2 SU, 7-3-1 ATS)
The door to the College Football Playoff was wide open for the Spartans last week heading into the Ohio State game. A win over the Buckeyes would have likely locked up a spot in the top four. They just had to win. But it ended up being a dismal all-around day for Michigan State.
In the first half, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud went 32-35 for 432 yards and six touchdowns. The running game tacked on another 206 yards on the day, and the defense held the Spartans to 224 total yards and one touchdown, which came in garbage time.
Injuries to key players like Walker, Jayden Reed, and Xavier Henderson played a role in the outcome. It is unclear how many of the injured players will be available this week. But with it being the end of the regular season and the last home game for many, you have to think most will make every effort to get back on the field. That does not mean they will be effective, of course.
The team will need Walker, not just because he is the most valuable player on the offensive side of the ball. Michigan State will need him to get the running game on track, keeping the offense on the field and the nation’s worst pass defense off of it. The defense will probably not have too much trouble stopping Penn State’s run game, but when you face the worst pass defense in the country, why run the ball at all?
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The critical factor in this game is going to be the health of both teams. Along with the flu, Penn State has several key players dealing with injuries — as does Michigan State. Both head coaches do not like to share information on injured players, but the edge may lie with Penn State, no matter who plays.
The Nittany Lions’ passing game is not as high-powered as Ohio State, but it is good enough with Clifford at the helm to dominate the Spartans’ pass defense. If last week is any indication, Veilleux may be up to the challenge as well.