Michigan State Spartans at Miami (FL) Hurricanes Betting Preview
The Hurricanes have opened this College Football season limping through the first two weeks after a tough start against Alabama, while Michigan State has looked great in equaling their win total in 2020 through just two weeks in 2021. Miami has certainly played the tougher schedule of the two teams, which may have them more prepared for this out-of-conference matchup, but the Spartans have looked like the more confident team in Mel Tucker’s second season roaming the sidelines in East Lansing.
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Michigan State Spartans Team Preview
The Spartans opened up week one with a road conference win against last year’s Big Ten West division champion, Northwestern. Michigan State has set the bar high to open up games as they’ve scored on 75-yard touchdown plays to start each of the first two games this season. Kenneth Walker, the Wake Forest transfer, ranks fourth in the country in rushing yards through two games and has provided an identity for the Spartan offense.
Quarterback Payton Thorne has had a great start to his sophomore season with six total touchdowns through the first two games, but the Miami defense will put up more of a test than either of the Spartans’ first two opponents. Similarly, on defense, D’Eriq King provides more of a playmaker for Michigan State to defend.
Miami (FL) Hurricanes Team Preview
The Hurricanes stumbled through their Alabama hangover game to hold off Appalachian State by a score of 25-23. After struggling to run the ball against the Tide, Miami was able to get the ground game going against the Mountaineers, rushing for 175 yards. Quarterback D’Eriq King has yet to really get going on the season as he’s scored just one touchdown in the teams’ first two games.
Manny Diaz’s defense has done a pretty good job to start the year despite giving up 45 points to Alabama’s offense. The Hurricanes pressured the Tide on more than 40% of their dropbacks and held Chase Brice to under 200 yards passing with an interception in Week 2. If the Hurricanes are going to have success against Michigan State, it will start up front stopping the Spartan rushing attack.
BetUS, BetOnline, and Bovada all have the betting line set at -6.5 in favor of the Hurricanes at home. Bovada and BetOnline have the total points over/under set at 56, and BetUS have it just a shade lower at 55.5.
The Hurricanes are 0-2 to start the season against the spread and really haven’t been close to covering in either of their two games. The Spartans are 1-1 against the spread, having come up just short at home against Youngstown State a week ago after pulling off an upset win at Northwestern in Week 1.
The matchups to watch here will be the Miami defense against the Spartan rushing attack and D’Eriq King against the Spartans’ defense. The success that Michigan State has experienced in the ground game has kept quarterback Payton Thorne from having to make too many plays to find success.
The Spartans’ propensity to score on the first play of the game has made it, so the team hasn’t had to play from behind at any point this year. If the Hurricanes can get up early, it may force the Spartans to rely on the passing game, taking them out of their element.
On the other side, King needs to find his way back to the 2020 version of himself before his ACL injury if Miami is going to turn their season in the right direction. King’s one touchdown through two games is far below expectations entering the season, but he is still a dynamic playmaker. Expect King to find his groove in this game and Miami to find success against Sparty. The under also has the lean here as both defenses likely challenge the opposing offenses.