For the first time this season, the Spartans’ defense couldn’t bail the team out of a subpar offensive performance on the road. While Sparty’s shot at a Big Ten East Division title, a spot in the conference title game, and place in the College Football Playoff took major hits with a loss at Purdue, the latest Maryland at Michigan State odds offer some reprieve for fans in the green and white.
Michigan State opens as a two-touchdown favorite against a Maryland team that has struggled to score on the road in Big Ten play. In order to cover, the Spartans will have to both have a short memory and not get caught looking ahead.
NCAA Odds: Maryland Terrapins at Michigan State Spartans
Sportsbooks like Sparty big in Maryland at Michigan State odds
If you follow Michigan sports betting, you’ll know that the 13-point spread is one of the largest favoring the Spartans so far this season. The point total, sitting around 63 points as of Monday evening, suggests Michigan State might be ready to take some frustration out on the Terrapins, too.
BetRivers has a total of 63.5 for the game, while totals at DraftKings and FanDuel Sportsbook sits at 61.5, though. DraftKings is a bit more confident in a Michigan State win on the moneyline, slotting that number at -525.
Michigan State is 6-2-1 overall against the spread so far this season but just 2-1-1 ATS at home. As a home favorite, that mark further declines to 1-1-1. Maryland is 0-2-0 ATS as a road underdog, though. The over is 2-1-0 in games in which the Spartans are the home favorite.
Sparty is 9-2 all-time against the Terps, whom they last faced on Nov. 30, 2019. Michigan State has won each of the past three meetings and six of the past seven in East Lansing. Here’s how Sparty supporters can watch them try to make it seven of eight.
How to watch: Michigan State Spartans vs. Maryland Terrapins
- Who: Michigan State (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten) vs. Maryland (5-4, 2-4)
- When: 4 p.m. ET, Saturday, Nov. 13
- Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
- TV: Fox (Announcers: Joe Davis, Brock Huard)
- Online livestream: Fox Sports App
- Radio: Spartan Media Network (25 affiliates across the state)
Maryland’s conference road struggles
In three Big Ten road games so far on the season, the most points Maryland has managed in any of those games is 20. As a matter of fact, if you take out the Terrapins’ two conference wins against Illinois and Indiana, the Terps’ ceiling in the remaining four games is just 17 points.
In their two conference road losses, they have put together a combined 33 points. Meanwhile, the defense struggled to keep them in those games. Maryland gave up 66 points to Ohio State and 34 to Minnesota.
Michigan State hasn’t necessarily been an offensive juggernaut in home Big Ten games, however. Against Michigan and Nebraska, they scored a combined 60 points. So, if these two teams merely produce what they average in these contexts, the Terrapins might just upset the spread by the thinnest of margins.
Covering the spread for the Spartans will require the defense to keep up with the trend of harassing Terps quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. He’s been sacked 18 times in nine games so far and has just 18 touchdowns to his nine interceptions so far this season.
Sparty is second in the Big Ten in sacks, with defensive line bookends Jacub Panasiuk and Jeff Pietrowski combining for 10 on the year thus far. To get back to their winning ways, they’ll have to execute in the pass rush Saturday and not get ahead of themselves.
Invoking the ‘trap game’ narrative
Michigan State is no longer among the ranks of the unbeaten. But actually, the Spartans still control their destiny in the Big Ten East. On Nov. 20, they travel to face the conference-unbeaten Ohio State Buckeyes. A win in the Horseshoe would square them in the standings with Ohio State and give them the head-to-head tiebreaker.
All Sparty would need to then do is dismiss Penn State at home in the regular-season finale. A win in the Big Ten championship over whoever ends up winning the Big Ten West (four teams are currently knotted up for the lead at 4-2), and they might warrant selection from the CFP committee.
Although that’s exciting for fans, it’s also why Saturday’s game against Maryland has that “trap game” feel to it. Then again, the Spartans might use this game to flex their muscle ahead of that showdown with the Buckeyes. That’s what bettors need to decide for themselves on this game.