The Michigan State Spartans hope to bounce back from last week’s humiliating loss when they host the Maryland Terrapins. Game time is 4:00 EST on Saturday, November 18 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. The game can be seen on Fox.
Oddsmakers have the Spartans listed as 17-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is 46.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 12 betting odds and links to game previews.
Maryland vs Michigan State Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview
Mark Dantonio will have to rally the no. 17 Spartans after they were trounced by Ohio State last week 48-3. No one could have foreseen Michigan State being so thoroughly dominated by the Buckeyes. The loss leaves MSU with the slimmest of hopes to play in the Big Ten title game. Nevertheless, the Spartans are 7-3 and remain in the top-20 of the Playoff rankings. If they can get back on track, a 10-win season is still attainable.
Maryland, meanwhile, will need a minor miracle just to qualify for a bowl game. The Terrapins are just 4-6 overall and 2-5 in Big Ten play. They now need to beat both Michigan State and Penn State to get to a bowl game. Needless to say, the odds are not in their favor, as the Terps have taken a substantial step backward this season under second-year head coach D.J. Durkin.
Free NCAA Football Pick Against the Spread: Maryland +17
My lean in this game is toward Maryland and the points. For the record, I’m not down on Michigan State, even after that brutal loss last week. But the loss to Ohio State was Michigan State’s first conference game this season that wasn’t decided by single digits. The Spartans play nothing but one-possession games, so I can’t swallow 17 points.
I’m not high on this Maryland team. But I’ll give credit where credit is due: the Terps can run the ball. Outside of Ohio State, no team has been able to shut down their ground game behind the tandem of Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison III. Even against a stout Michigan defense last week, the Terrapins ran for 180 yards and averaged more than 5 yards per carry.
Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.
Of course, the Spartans have a solid defense. I don’t expect Maryland to run wild all day against the MSU defense. But I do think the Terrapins will have some level of success offensively behind their rushing attack. It’d be better if Maryland had a proficient passing attack, which they don’t. But the Terps should be able to do some damage on the ground against MSU.
If nothing else, the Maryland rushing attack will eat up some clock and prevent this game from becoming a shootout that allows the Spartans to cover the spread. I also like the fact that the Spartans are a balanced offensive team that rarely scores on explosive plays. The MSU offense will also be looking to establish an effective rushing attack, especially after the rough day quarterback Brian Lewerke had last week. That will slow down the pace and make a lopsided game less likely.
Ultimately, I expect Michigan State to win this game. But I expect a typical Big Ten game that’s played in the trenches with both teams trying to establish their running game. That type of game doesn’t lend itself to the Spartans winning by a substantial margin. Even against some of the lesser teams in the Big Ten, Michigan State has played close games. As long as trend that continues, I’ll take my chances with Maryland and the points.