Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#183 Michigan State vs.
#184 Rutgers
Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#183 Michigan State University
#184 Rutgers University
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The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will host the Michigan State Spartans in a Big Ten battle Saturday afternoon from HighPoint.com Stadium. The Spartans were crushed 44-10 at rival Michigan last week, and the Scarlet Knights were demolished 59-21 by Ohio State in their previous game. Michigan State notched a 14-10 home win against Rutgers last season.

Spartans' Woes Continue with Fifth Straight Defeat

The Michigan State Spartans need a victory in their last two games to become bowl eligible. The Spartans are struggling, dropping five consecutive games with issues on both offense and defense. Michigan State wasn’t competitive in an ugly 44-10 road loss to #15 Michigan last week to drop to 2-5 in Big Ten play. Brian Lewerke has tossed five picks in his last two games. The senior QB is having trouble with turnovers this season and has registered 2178 passing yards with a 13:9 TD to INT ratio.

The Spartans should generate big yards on the ground. Elijah Collins recently posted 170 rushing yards against Illinois and he has accrued 742 rushing yards on the year. Spartans' receiving leader Darrell Stewart Jr. has missed the last two games with a leg injury and is questionable for this one. The senior WR has 694 receiving yards. The Michigan State offense had a strong first half but has done almost nothing in their current five-game slide with the exception of their 34 point effort to Illinois.

The Spartans' defense is also having trouble in their losing streak. Their pass defense is slipping and now stand 71st in the FBS, while their rush defense is 15th. Michigan State is currently averaging 21.8 points, ranking them 110th overall. They are allowing an average of 25.6 points, placing them 52nd in the country. The Spartans hold a 2-4 road record and need a win in their final two games to become bowl eligible.

Rutgers Plummets to 0-7 in Big Ten Play

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are searching for any positives they can find before their terrible season concludes. Rutgers holds an 0-7 Big Ten record which included a 59-21 home loss to Ohio State last week in a clash that had Rutgers as 52 point dogs. Johnny Langen has seen a bulk of the playing time recently and has posted subpar results. The freshman QB has tossed three picks in his last two games and has 619 passing yards with a 4:8 TD to INT ratio. Langen can do damage on the ground, posting 284 rushing yards.

Rutgers has experienced a bit more success with their rushing offense. Isaih Pacheco will take several carries per game. The sophomore back has surpassed 100 yards twice this season and has logged 591 rushing yards on the season. Pacheco will be in tough against an elite Spartans rush defense. Bo Melton has only made nine grabs over his last three games and leads the Scarlet Knights with 369 receiving yards. The Rutgers offense has been a disaster for most of the season. Their 21 point output last week against the Buckeyes was their highest total in Big Ten play.

The Rutgers' defense is just as bad as their offense. They have squandered over 40 points four times this season and are 91st against the pass and 107th against the run. The Scarlet Knights are currently averaging only 15.3 points, placing them down at 127th in the country. They are allowing an average of 38.6 points, positioning them 126th overall. Rutgers is 2-4 on their home field with both wins occurring in non-conference play.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am taking the points with Rutgers in this one. Michigan State will win but I expect Rutgers to keep this one reasonably close. Michigan State is stumbling in a big way as their season winds down, losing five consecutive games and they have scored 10 or fewer points in four out of their last five games. The Spartans are having trouble generating yards both in the air and on the ground, and I do not seem them putting up big points as a result.

Furthermore, Rutgers covered against Ohio State last week. They were able to score 21 points against an elite Buckeyes defense that ranks #1 in the entire FBS last week which is a step in the right direction.

Prediction: Rutgers

Full-Game Total Pick

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I am confident in the under. The Spartans offense has almost been as bad as Rutgers as of late. They have only scored a combined 20 points in their last three road games, and QB Brian Lewerke has failed to surpass 200 passing yards in three out of his last four games. The under is also 5-1 in the Spartans’ last six games against Rutgers.

In addition, Rutgers has a very poor offense. They stand near the bottom of the FBS in rushing and passing and have scored 10 or fewer points in five of their seven Big Ten games this season. The under is 9-4 in Rutgers’ last 13 conference games.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The under on the Michigan State team total offered on PointsBet is worth a look. Spartans QB Brian Lewerke is not playing with any confidence. The senior QB holds an abysmal 2:7 TD to INT ratio over his last four games. He is only connecting on 55% of his passes on the season. RB Elijah Collins is struggling on the ground as well, rushing for less than 60 yards in three out of his last four games.

Prediction: Michigan State Team Total Under

Half-Time Side Pick

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I am taking Michigan State on the halftime line. Michigan State is averaging over 13 points in the first half, and they go quiet in the second half where they are only posting 8.2 points on the season, which places them at 114th in the country. Also, Rutgers has shown some progress in the second half where they are averaging 12.3 points in their last three games.

Prediction: Michigan State
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.