The home team is 5-2 straight up in the last seven Michigan State-Notre Dame matchups, but only 2-4-1 against the spread, as underdog visitors have kept most games close. In the 65th edition of a great midwestern college football rivalry, the Irish battle the Spartans on Saturday night in East Lansing.
College football point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as six-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 29.2-23.6 Fighting Irish (College football picks on every game)
Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread
Notre Dame bounced back from that tough loss to Georgia two weeks ago to beat Boston College last week 49-20. The Irish actually trailed the Eagles 10-7 late into the first half but used a 28-3 run to take control. They then later tacked on two more scores to secure the cover as 14-point favorites.
On the afternoon, Notre Dame racked up 611 yards of offense, including 515 on the ground. Running back Josh Adams ran 18 times for 229 yards, and quarterback Brandon Wimbush ran 21 times for 207 yards and four touchdowns.
Meanwhile the Irish defense stuffed BC on a key fourth down in the third quarter and forced three turnovers, all of which led directly to 28 Notre Dame points.
The Irish opened this season with a 49-16 win over Temple, covering a 19-point spread, before losing to Georgia 20-19 on a late field goal.
Why the Michigan State Spartans can cover the spread
After falling to 3-9 last year, the Spartans are 2-0 both SU and ATS this season following their 28-14 win over Western Michigan two weeks ago. Michigan State then enjoyed last week off.
The Spartans grabbed an early 14-0 lead on the Broncos and later pushed that advantage to 28-7 on their way toward covering a seven-point spread.
On the day, Michigan State outgained WMU 457-195 and outrushed the Broncos 296-116. QB Brian Lewerke accounted for 242 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns, while running back LJ Scott accounted for 111 yards and two scores. Meanwhile, the Spartans defense threw a shutout; Western Michigan's only two touchdowns came on a fumble return and a kickoff return.
In fact, that Michigan State defense has yet to allow an opponent to reach the end zone this season. The only touchdown the Spartans gave up in their season-opening 35-10 victory over Bowling Green also came on a fumble return.
Michigan State might sport some impressive defensive numbers, but it hasn't really played anybody yet. Notre Dame, meanwhile, just ran the ball for over 500 yards last week. Plus, the Irish might have revenge in mind after losing to the Spartans last year at home. Smart money here gives the short spread with Notre Dame.
College football betting trends
The total has gone under in three of Notre Dame's last four games against Michigan State.
The total has gone under in four of Michigan State's last five games.
Notre Dame is 1-4 ATS in its last five games on the road in September.
All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.