College Football Previews: Wisconsin A Two Point Favorite Over Michigan State
October 2nd, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

Both the No.11 Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) and the No.24 Michigan State Spartans (4-0) open up their Big 10 conference schedule on Saturday afternoon in this top-25 clash that will propel one up the conference and national ladder.

Michigan State will be playing for something, or rather, someone.  Just two weeks after suffering a heart attack after a victory over Notre Dame, head coach Mark Dantonio is expected to be at the game up in the box coaching, trying to get the Spartans off to their best start in more than 10 years.

“They’ll be as big a test as we’ve faced all year, and we get it in the first conference game,” said Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins said. “What you see up here around the building are Big Ten championship signs and Rose Bowl pictures, because that’s what we’re focusing on. Nonconference play doesn’t get us that.”

Both Michigan State and Wisconsin have notched solid non-conference victories in each of their 4-0 starts to this season.  The over time win for Michigan State on the road over Notre Dame has propelled the momentum for the Spartans.  On the other side of the equation, the Badgers got a narrow win over Arizona State two weeks ago.

Dantonio has paid close attention to Wisconsin, knowing that they can be as talented as any team in the Big 10.

“When you look at Wisconsin and you look at us, I think we’ve played very similar schedules,” Dantonio remarked.“They’ve run the ball very effectively in the past. We have as well. Their passer is very good in terms of completion percentage and things that he has done in the past. Ours is as well.”

Badger running back John Clay has been a bright-spot for the team, rushing for 501 yards and six touchdowns in four games.  The production of James White in the offensive back field has also been a pleasant surprise.

Still, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema knows there is much to improve.

“We’re not anywhere close to being where I think we can be, but again, just because of the way we played each week I made a statement to our guys during Sunday’s meeting that what we’ve done every week is we’ve won the football game,” Bielema said. “We’ve put ourselves in a position to be where we are today. Each week, they’ve gotten better.”

For Michigan State, it’s been since the Nick Saban era since they last started 5-0.

Game Line-

USA Online Sportsbooks and College Football Betting Lines have set Wisconsin as a two-point favorite, with the over/under sitting at 54.5 points.

ATS Betting Trends-

Wisconsin is 6-13 ATS in their last 19 road games.  The Spartans are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.

Over/Under Betting Trends-

The Over is 6-2 in the last eight in which Wisconsin is a favorite.  The Over is 7-3 in the Badgers’ last 10 Big 10 games.  Over is 7-2 in Michigan States last nine games overall.

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