Saturday marks the 115th time Michigan and Michigan State will take the field against one another in competition.
Michigan heads into Saturday’s game as the clear favorite, with a 7-0 record this season. Michigan State hasn’t had quite the same luck this season, heading into Saturday’s match-up with a 3-4 record.
Both teams ended last season in the top 10, with MSU head coach Mel Tucker receiving a 10-year, $95 million contract extension. Despite such a strong performance last season, Tucker and the Spartans have faced quite the setback this year.
Both teams should be well-rested thanks to a bye week during week 8. The Paul Bunyon trophy is back up for grabs, and both teams will be hungry for the win.
Michigan vs. Michigan State History
Even though the Michigan Wolverines lead the all-time series, 71-38-5, the team has struggled in the past two matchups against their in-state rivals. Last October, both teams were undefeated heading into their rival game. It was Michigan State that delivered Michigan their first loss of the season, winning 37-33. The year before that, the college football season was significantly shortened due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When the two teams faced off on Halloween Day 2020, MSU won 27-24.
MSU started the season with two wins over Western Michigan (35-13) and Akron (52-0). Then, the Michigan State Spartans couldn’t manage to escape a four-game losing streak to Washington (39-28), Minnesota (34-7), Maryland (27-13), and Ohio State (49-20). MSU managed to take down Wisconsin in a double-overtime match two Saturdays ago.
If the Spartans managed to pull off a third-straight victory over the Wolverines, it would have significant implications for both teams.
Currently, MSU is ranked 42nd in the FPI and 52nd in the SP+. A win over Michigan could increase the chance of seeing the Spartans in a bowl game later this year. Losing to an unranked team would lead to Michigan losing its #4 position on the AP.
A look at Michigan’s season
The undefeated Michigan Wolverines are an 18 – 22.5 point favorite at most sportsbooks heading into the game this weekend. With seven wins under their belt, a win over MSU would help fuel the rest of their season.
Before their bye week, Michigan faced off against Penn State. The two teams were ranked #5 and #10, respectively, heading into October 15th’s game. Heading into the half, the score was 16-14 (Michigan), and it seemed like Penn State had a chance of pulling off the upset. Whatever pep talk Harbaugh gave the team in the locker room worked, however, as Michigan dominated the second half putting up 25 more points. Penn State added just three points in the second half.
Michigan vs. Michigan State Odds
Michigan is the clear favorite heading into Saturday’s game. FanDuel has the team listed as the 22.5-point (-110) home favorite. The Moneyline on FanDuel is currently at -3000 for the Wolverines and +1200 for MSU.
Michigan State is 3-4 heading into the matchup and 2-5 against the spread. The Michigan Wolverines are 7-0 and 4-3 against the spread.
The battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy is scheduled for Saturday, October 29th, 2022 at 7:30 pm in Ann Arbor.
Saturday’s game is the 70th game played for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. The tradition started in 1953 when then-Michigan Governor Mennen Williams donated the four-foot-tall wooden trophy.
Mac Daniel is a Michigan native and freelance writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinemichigan.com