Michigan vs. Michigan State spread: Wolverines open as a 4-point favorite

·2 min read

Vegas oddsmakers are expecting another close battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy on Saturday.

No. 6 Michigan football is a 4-point favorite when it visits No. 7 Michigan State, according to Circa Sports. Kickoff is noon at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. The game will be broadcast on Fox, which will have its college football pregame show for the first meeting in the 114-game history between the rivals in which the two programs entered 7-0 or better. Both teams are 7-0 and 4-0 in the Big Ten.

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The Spartans have not beaten the Wolverines at home since 2014. U-M opened as a 24-point favorite last year, but MSU went to Michigan Stadium and pulled off a 27-24 upset on Oct. 31, 2020. It was the Spartans’ fifth win in their last seven visits to Ann Arbor.

Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh and Michigan State Spartans coach Mel Tucker walk off the field after MSU's 27-24 win at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.
Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh and Michigan State Spartans coach Mel Tucker walk off the field after MSU's 27-24 win at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.

In the last 20 meetings, the MSU-Michigan winner has been decided 14 times by two touchdowns or less, nine times by a touchdown or less and three times by three points or fewer.

The Wolverines defeated Northwestern on Saturday at Michigan Stadium, 33-7, while the Spartans were off for their bye following their 20-15 win at Indiana on Oct. 16.

Mel Tucker is looking to become the first coach in MSU history to win his first two meetings against U-M. He is the only one to win his rivalry debut on the road and joined Nick Saban as the only coaches in Spartan history to beat the Wolverines in their first attempt.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is 3-3 against MSU, with wins coming in 2016, 2018 and 2019. The Wolverines lead the all-time series 71-37-5, but its edge is just 38-28-2 since the Spartans joined the Big Ten in 1953. MSU is 9-4 in the rivalry since 2008.

Contact Chris Solari: csolari@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Read more on the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan vs. Michigan State spread: U-M a 4-point favorite

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