Who is the Real Football King of the State of Michigan: Michigan or Michigan State?

Nov 2, 2013

Ever since running back Mike Hart referred to Michigan State as Michigan’s “little brother” in 2007, this series has taken on a whole new meaning for the Spartans. In fact, after uttering those fateful words, Michigan State went on to win and cover four straight by an average of 12 points per game. Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I believe Michigan is one of the most overrated teams in college football. And, the Wolverines cannot be trusted in today’s scheduling situation as they are a money-burning 2-17 ATS on the road following a home game, including 0-2 ATS this season.

Michigan State takes the field with the best defense in the nation as the Spartans are limiting opponents to a mere 12.2 points per game this season at 2.1 yards per rush play, 4.7 yards per pass attempt and 215 total yards (3.5 yards per play). Overall, Michigan State is an incredible 1.7 yards per rush play, 2.0 yards per pass attempt and 1.9 yards per play better than average defensively, which is certainly good enough to limit a Michigan attack that is 0.6 yards per play better than average offensively (6.4 yards per play against teams that combine to allow 5.8 yards per play).

Michigan State Defense vs. Michigan Offense:

+1.7 yards per rush play advantage

-0.5 yards per pass attempt disadvantage

+1.3 yards per play advantage overall

The biggest concern for Michigan investors is the fact that the Wolverines are averaging just 3.3 yards per rush play, 6.5 yards per pass attempt and 4.4 yards per play on the road this season. Michigan’s overrated status was best illustrated in its fortuitous 24-21 win over Connecticut wherein the Wolverines averaged a woeful 4.3 yards per play.

From strictly a fundamental standpoint, Michigan State possesses a significant 0.9 yards per play advantage from the line of scrimmage overall in this game after factoring in both team’s offensive and defensive numbers. The technical analysis also favors Michigan State as the Wolverines are 1-15 SU and 2-13-1 ATS in their last sixteen games as conference underdogs, including 0-9 SU and ATS as underdogs of six points or less. Meanwhile, Michigan State is a profitable 12-2 ATS versus teams off a bye, 6-1 ATS as conference favorites of less than seven points and 4-1 ATS with conference revenge. Lay the points and invest with confidence.