The Michigan State Spartans (2-0) roll into South Beach Saturday for a Big Ten-ACC clash with the No. 24 Miami Hurricanes (1-1) at the Hard Rock Stadium.
Michigan State bulldozed the Big Ten rival Northwestern Wildcats 38-21 as 3-point road underdogs in the first game of the series. The Spartans followed it up with a 42-14 trouncing of the FCS Youngstown State Penguins but failed to cover as 28-point home favorites. Sophomore QB Payton Thorne has a 65.5% completion rate, 10.1 yards per attempt, a 5 TD to 0 INT ratio, and a 186.0 QB Rating. Through two games, the Spartans are outgaining opponents 553.0-352.0 in total yards per game and rushing for nearly 300 yards per game.
On the other hand, the U was obliterated 44-13 by the No. 1 overall Alabama Crimson Tide on a neutral field in the first game and were nowhere close to covering as 19.5-point underdogs. Miami bounced back with a 25-23 win last week over the Appalachian State Mountaineers. But, the Hurricanes didn’t cover as 7.5-point home favorites and needed a game-winning field goal with 2:05 remaining to survive a scare from Appalachian State. QB D’Eriq King has struggled out the gate, averaging just 6.0 yards per pass attempt with a 1 TD to 2 INTs ratio and a 117.7 QB Rating. Also, Miami is being outgained 5.7-4.8 in yards per play through the first two weeks, albeit against quality competition.
- Opening Line: Miami -8
- Current Line: Miami -6
- Over/Under (O/U): 55
- Location: Hard Rock Stadium
- Start Time: Saturday, September 18, 2021. noon EST
- Last meeting: Miami is 4-0 all-time vs. Michigan State, but these programs haven’t met since 1989
Michigan State has played to the Over in five straight games dating back to last season. Miami has been a terrible bet in this spot. The U is just 0-4 against the spread (ATS) in the last four games against Big Ten foes. Plus Miami is 0-5 ATS in the last five home games and 1-6 ATS vs. non-conference foes.
*Betting splits pulled from Pregame.com’s Game Center*
Both the “wiseguys” and “public” are backing the Spartans in this spot. Roughly 90% of the cash wagered and nearly 60% of the bets placed are on Michigan State. This has caused oddsmakers to bring Miami’s number down to the current price. However, the total market is a “pros vs. joes” scenario as the presumed “sharp” money is backing the Over. Whereas the public is betting the Under. Sportsbooks have steamed this total up from the 55-point opener to the current price because of all the Over money.
While Northwestern saw a ton of talent depart this offseason, Michigan State dominating the Wildcats on both sides of the ball in Week 1 was surprising. The Spartans rushed for 326 yards against Northwestern and held the Wildcats to just 3.1 yards per rush. Also, Michigan State’s offensive line has been formidable thus far. It should have its way with a Miami front that lost a couple of players to the NFL draft.
Furthermore, Miami head coach Manny Diaz hasn’t shown enough to suggest the U should be laying 6 points against a team from a better football conference. Since Diaz took the Miami coaching gig in 2019, the U is 6-6 ATS with a minus-3.8 ATS margin as a home favorite. Apparently, the “wiseguys” agree since there’s a lot more money on Michigan State than actual bets placed. In fact, all the pro-Michigan State money has steamed the Spartans’ price down 2 points.
Finally, there’s value in fading an overrated Miami team who hasn’t played well but is still ranked. Not only is the U more of a nationally popular team, but no way is Miami 6 points better than Michigan State.
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