THE BETTING BASICS
Current Line: Nebraska -3
Moneyline: Nebraska -148 Michigan St +124
Over/Under: 34 1⁄2 (-110 both ways)
ESPN Analytics Matchup Predictor: Huskers 52.6% / Michigan St 47.4%
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
HOW SHOULD YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY
Nebraska has won 5 out of 6 for the first time since….well, I don’t know, but I’m guessing at least 2016. Michigan State on the other hand has dropped 6 straight including blowouts at the hands of Michigan, Washington and first third of the season Maryland - a much different beast than last two thirds of the season Maryland.
So why are the Huskers only a -3 favorite against Sparty be it home or road? That’s because their other losses - against teams more on the Huskers level - resulted in:
- Trailed Minnesota 17-12 with 8:37 left before giving up 10 straight to lose 27-12
- Led Iowa 16-13 entering the 4th quarter before giving up 13 straight to lose 26-16
- Led Rutgers 24-6 entering the 4th quarter before giving up 21 to lose 27-24
So the fine gentlemen who make such decisions look above and note the Spartans play like competition closely - for 3+ quarters. And they’re at home which is usually worth an automatic 3 points. So as of right now, we’re basically being considered 6 points better with a defense which is clicking and an offense which, while still injury-riddled, can drive the ball and bust an occasional big play, but has fumble issues.
I know how I feel about how it all turns out, but I’m definitely leaving this to Mark:
“Nebraska -3 is the best bet and I’ll make the over (34 1⁄2 ) safety bet. We can probably cover the over on our own just based on bowl motivation and hype. Another defensive TD for sure.
Warning - it started out at Nebraska - 1 1/2 , so the line will probably move to to 4 1⁄2 by Saturday.
Rhule is gonna have these boys so fucking hyped to play, they’re gonna jump out of the stadium.”
Looking at all the lead-in info, it feels like a scene out of Trading Places with us playing the Billy Ray Valentine role. I mean, how often have we won 5 out of 6 entering October getting ready to play someone who’s lost 6 in a row (Note: with a real chance to win 3 of those 6 before crapping the azaleas in the 4th quarter)?
Now as I stated in The 24 Hour Rule yesterday, this is a trap game of the highest order. Yes, we’ve won 5 out of 6 and they’ve dropped 6 in a row. But they have played close with teams on or slightly above their level. That’s us. It’s also true their 4th quarters in those games have been more trash than Waste Management can scoop up in a week - at least that’s how I see it when you get outscored 44-6 in the final frame by Iowa, Rutgers and Minnesota.
Now is not the time for overconfidence. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Rhule and company know how to handle the emotions. In a role reversal, the Spartans have a become a team which awaits impending doom, while the Huskers have adopted Coach Rhule’s tenet of finding a way to overcome whether it’s mistakes, inept refs, turnovers or just bad luck.
The Huskers will finally get off to a not horrid start and, while still coming up with a couple of goofs from the above categories, will find a way to (gasp) pull away in the 4th quarter for their 4th straight victory.
GAME DAY INFO
Date/Time: Saturday, Nov 4th at 11:00am CDT
Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Surface: Natural grass
Opposition Blog: Check out Michigan State news at The Only Colors, SBNation’s site covering the Michigan State Spartans
Series Record: The Huskers lead the all-time series 9-3. Before joining the Big Ten, the Huskers won all five previous contests going back to 1914. Since then, they have maintained s 4-3 advantage.
TV: The game will be televised on FS1 with Play-by-Play: Tim Brando and Analyst: Spencer Tillman. It can be streamed on the Fox Sports app with a login from your service provider.
Radio: Huskers Radio Network. The audio can also be streamed live for free at Huskers.com or the Huskers App. The crew will be: Greg Sharpe, Damon Benning, and Jessica Coody. The pre- and post-game shows will be handled by Matt Coatney, Zach Potter & Ben McLaughlin.
More streaming options: The official Huskers App is available on iTunes and Google Play. You can access the Spanish broadcast on Huskers.com the Huskers app with Kike Morales, Oscar Monterroso & Hannah Bassham.
Weather: It should be around 45 degrees at kickoff reaching 51 by game’s end and will be partly cloudy with a slight chance of rain.
- The Huskers hit the ground running against the Spartans when they “jined up” with the B1G by taking down a couple of future NFL Pro Bowler types.
- In 2011, they stifled Kirk Cousins, holding him to 11-27 for 86 yards and a pick while sacking him 4 times. They also held Le’Veon Bell to 58 yards on 12 carries. Rex Burkhead had 35 carries for 130 yards and 3 TDs as the Huskers won 24-3.
- The following year, Bell went for 36-188yds and 2 TDs, but Ameer went for 110yds and T-Magic for 205 and tossed the winning TD pass to Jamal Turner with :06 left for a 28-24 win.
- 5 of the 7 meetings since the Huskers joined the Big Ten have been decided by 5 or fewer points with the past three being decided by a total of 7.
- The Huskers’ 39-38 win over #6 MSU in 2015 was their last victory over a Top-10 team. Obviously that won’t be in play Saturday.
- Former Husker Alante Brown is currently with the Spartans after transferring this year.