Michigan State football vs. Rutgers 2021: Betting odds and prediction

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 11 ranked Michigan State football led by head coach Mel Tucker looks to remain undefeated Saturday afternoon as they clash with Rutgers.

Tucker has Michigan State playing excellent football.  Through the first five games of the season, the Spartans are averaging 37.8 points per game which ranks 19th in college football.  Tucker’s club is yielding 20.6 points per game which comes in at 39th best in the country.

Michigan State football is averaging 255 passing yards and a staggering 211 yards rushing per game.  Although it’s a balanced offense, the Spartans rely heavily on their 1-2 punch out of the backfield.

Kenneth Walker III is averaging 6.8 yards per carry in 2021, having totaled 680 yards and a whopping eight rushing touchdowns this season.  Walker III is the best tailback East Lansing has seen since Le’Veon Bell.

When Walker III needs a rest, the Spartans turn to Jordon Simmons, who has carried the rock 36 times totaling 179 rushing yards, good for five yards a tote.

Aside from Walker III, receiver Jayden Reed has proven to be the program’s top playmaking threat.  Reed is averaging 30.7 yards per kick return plus an astonishing 39.6 yards per punt return this season.  Reed already has two punt returns returned for touchdowns in ’21, none more prominent than the one late in the fourth quarter to force overtime in a game Michigan State football eventually beat Nebraska 23-20.

Reed also leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.  Through five games, Reed has accumulated 463 receiving yards on 20 receptions and five receiving touchdowns.

Two weeks ago, Rutgers played a spectacular second half against Michigan, keeping the Wolverines off the scoreboard for the entire second half despite falling short 20-13.  The Scarlett Knights followed that close game in Ann Arbor up with a blowout loss at home last weekend to Ohio State to the tune of 52-13.

Rutgers struggles to generate offense under Greg Sheiano, averaging 359 total yards, but they allow 338 per game.

Michigan State football vs. Rutgers prediction, betting odds and spread.

According to WynnBET, Michigan State football is a 5.5 point favorite, and the Under/Over is set at 50 total points.

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I have the Spartans heading on the road winning this game, but I like Rutgers +5.5 in this one.  This has the makings of a defensive struggle and a game that doesn’t reach the 50 point total.  I’ve got Michigan State winning this one 24-20.