Penn State vs. Michigan State Pick – Week 9 ATS Analysis
Penn State Nittany Lions (7-0 SU, 4-3 ATS) vs. Michigan State Spartans (4-3 SU, 2-5 ATS)
When: Saturday, October 26th, 2019 – 3:30 PM ET
Where: Spartan Stadium – East Lansing, MI
Point Spread: PSU -6.5 / MSU +6.5 (Bovada)
Poll Rankings: Michigan State +12
Takeaways From Week 8
The Nittany Lions come in undefeated after emerging victorious in a prime-time Saturday night game against nemesis Michigan. Closing as a 7.5-point favorite, the Nittany Lions fell prey to a splitting-hairs loss against the spread when they defeated their opponents by a score of 28-21. Penn State’s “White Out” conditions empowered the Nittany Lions to jump out to a 21-point lead before the Wolverines would claw their way back into the game. Michigan had a chance to equalize, but Penn State held them off in a dramatic goal-line stand to earn their win.
The Spartans come into this contest off a bye, but that was likely much needed as Michigan State has been spanked in its last two matches. Michigan State fell by a combined 72-10 to Wisconsin and Ohio State before they stumbled into their hiatus. Overall, Sparty has gone 0-3 ATS in their last three matches.
How the Public is Betting the Penn State-Michigan State Game
PSU opened as a six-point favorite. As a result of early action being taken on the Nittany Lions, Penn State is now spotting an additional half-point to their rivals. Presently, 72% of the consensus like the Nittany Lions as the road favorite.
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The Spartans have won the last two editions of “The Battle for the Land Grant Trophy”. Last year, the Spartans shocked the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley by a score of 21-17 to win outright as a 13.5-point underdog.
Michigan State has been a cash cow in this rivalry series as they have gone 5-1 ATS in the previous six matches between these two foes. For Over/Under players, the Over is 4-1 ATS in the last five contests.
Heading into this conference feud, neither Penn State or Michigan State have any injuries to report regarding key players.
Why We Like Michigan State To Cover
Penn State had compiled back-to-back big wins when it first defeated a ranked Iowa in Kinnick Stadium, followed by their victory against Michigan last week in Happy Valley. Given the fact that the Spartans come into this game of back-to-back beat-downs suffered against Wisconsin and Ohio State (teams garnered as the cream of the B1G crop), the Spartans look prime for the plucking against another elite conference foe in these Penn State Nittany Lions. Nevertheless, Michigan State opened at a notoriously underdog-friendly number that has often be associated with a lot of upsets previously. With respect, the rivalry element of this game and the fact that the Spartan faithful will do all it can do to unsettle Penn State, Sparty shocking the Nittany Lions is by no means out of the question. In fact, the narratives surrounding this contest would place PSU in a position to be submarined by MSU. When you toss in the emotional element of Penn State’s last win, the let-down prospect is significant in this affair.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Michigan State +6.5
Some will argue that Penn State will come into this game with revenge on the mind, and thus they are an excellent choice to back here. When you combine this plotline with the fact that Penn State only needs to win by a converted touchdown to cover, Penn State may look like easy money here against a Spartans team that has looked uninspiring in their last two outings. However, Michigan State Head Coach Mark D’Antonio has a proven track record of success in circling the wagons and getting his teams back on track. D’Antonio also has a process that has worked against rivals as he has been a perpetual thorn in the sides of teams that aren’t too fond of Sparty. When an extra week of rest to prepare for this game is factored in, Michigan State is in prime position to bounce back with style. Situationally, this game has a feel of Penn State winning but not covering as it clears the emotional hurdles of this rivalry series. This game will likely be settled on the final possession regardless of who wins; I have an inclination that the margin will be less than a touchdown. An average margin of 3.5 points decided the last two games, and I believe a similar unfolding of events will carry out in East Lansing. I’ll take Michigan State with the points.
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