The 24th-ranked Miami Hurricanes of the ACC play host to the unbeaten Michigan State Spartans of the Big Ten as chalk on the college football lines“The U” has underachieved so far but is still considered the better team though the public seems to be leaning on the Spartans.
|Game: Michigan State Spartans (2-0) at (24) Miami Hurricanes (1-1)
Location: Hard Rock StadiumDate: Saturday, Sept, 18, 2021
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Will the Spartans finally beat the Hurricanes? In four meetings, Michigan State is 0-4. The schools have not played since 1989.
Michigan State Spartans
Next game: vs Nebraska Cornhuskers
MSU has already equaled its wins from last season with victories over Northwestern and Youngstown. The Spartans pushed against Youngstown winning by exactly 28 points while it came through as a three-point underdog against Northwestern.
Running back Elijah Collins got hurt and will be added to a growing list of shelved players that include defensive ends Itayvion Brown, Drew Beesley, and Drew Jordan.
Next game: vs Central Connecticut Blue Devils
The Hurricanes bounced back after being embarrassed by Alabama in their opener. However, they barely beat Appalachian State and won by just two points: 25 to 23. This was enough to stay in the Top 25 but the team has now failed to cover in four straight games (dating back to 2020) on the college football spreads.
Miami lost a few key players in its last game including running back Don Chaney Jr., who is out for the season, and starting linebacker Keontra Smith who will miss a few games.
Betting on the Game
At 6.5 points, the Hurricanes need to win by a touchdown to cover. They’ve been so bad against the spread lately and have only covered five of their last 18 games. Miami is also just 3-3 ATS when the favorite at home while MSU is 2-2 ATS as a visiting underdog.
A good two-thirds of fans have taken the Spartans’ points when betting online but the points have gone up for the Hurricanes as it opened at six points. The U would be an interesting teaser piece this time being on the winning end of it.
There isn’t any betting history to look at between these teams as their last meeting took place over 32 years ago, before every player on each team was even conceived. But MSU has been on a roll averaging 40 points while allowing just 17.5 while Miami’s offense has regressed.
MSU is rushing for nearly 300 yards a game. Now that figures to be much lower against the Hurricanes though they’ve still allowed over 150 a game. Miami has one of the best front-seven even if their secondary leaves much to be desired.
Most yards after contact this season
1. Kenneth Walker III, MSU – 258
2. Chris Rodriguez Jr, UK – 208
3. Mataeo Durant, Duke – 201
4. Jashaun Corbin, FSU – 198 pic.twitter.com/C8wDdFwKBz
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 12, 2021
The underdogs have a prolific quarterback and running back tandem in Payton Thorne and Kenneth Walker. The two should be able to take turns chipping away at the Hurricanes, who will spend the bulk of the game forcing MSU to earn every yard but will be prone to giving up some big plays.
At this juncture, it’s tough to bank on the favorites when they have been rusty on offense and have holes on defense. MSU is untested against ranked teams. But it has the momentum and the talent on both sides to push the Hurricanes and even outshines them in their own stadium.
Miami may be terrible on the spread, but is 8-1 straight-up as a favorite going back to last season. The Hurricanes are also 5-1 at home and if you exclude the egg they laid against North Carolina, have a 15.6 point-differential at the Hard Rock Stadium.
But their success hinges on how well QB D’Eriq King can play. Last season, the transfer averaged 8.2 yards per attempt (Y/A) with 23 touchdowns and just five picks. He’s having a slow start this season averaging just six Y/A and has twice more interceptions (2) than touchdowns (1).
The Hurricanes have also been terrible in third-downs converting on just 36.7% of them (11-of-30). Miami is also just averaging 4.8 yards per play, last in the ACC, while MSU leads the Big Ten at 8.6. Of course, the Hurricanes’ opponents have been much stronger.
But Walker putting up 264 rushing yards against Northwestern is impressive by any standards. The Hurricanes will have migraine game planning against him while Thorne, though unspectacular, has the ability to win games with his playmaking.
It’s not surprising that the majority of the online gambling action have gone towards MSU even if their line has moved from its opening at +195 to +210. Miami remains a considerable favorite going from -225 to -250.
The vast majority of action has gone towards the over though the totals have been cut from 57, its opening number, to 56.5 where it sits. Most bettors foresee a shootout between these teams and it’s hard to blame them. Both sides have plenty of exciting players who can rip off big plays.
King, despite his struggles, is a dynamic playmaker thanks to being a former receiver. While MSU has a pair of elite receivers in Jayden Reed and Jalen Nailor. The former already has 245 receiving yards and a pair of scores.
Defensively, Miami’s weak secondary can get exposed even by Thorne. If MSU’s offensive line holds up long enough, they can carve the Hurricanes for big plays. Expect plenty of highlights this Saturday noon.