Michigan State vs. Northwestern Betting Preview

Michigan State vs. Northwestern Betting Preview

Cole Paganelli
3 years ago
3 min read
Michigan State vs. Northwestern Betting Preview

Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker was dealt a tough hand in 2020. He was hired in February and before he knew it spring football was canceled and the 2020 season was in jeopardy. The funky circumstances help lead the Spartans to a 2-5 record in a Big Ten-only schedule. 

Contributing to the oddness of the 2020 Spartan season were big victories over arch-rival Michigan in the second week of the season and a 29-20 victory over the eventual Big Ten West Division Champion, Northwestern. 

In a way, this season is essentially Tucker’s first with the Spartans. He completed his first spring football with Michigan State and had his first normal training camp this August and he now has his first recruiting class on campus in East Lansing. Tucker is attempting to build some stability this season for Michigan State, and he gets to take on one of the conference’s most stable programs in the season-opener. 

On the other sideline is Pat Fitzgerald, the long-time head coach of Northwestern. Fitzgerald has led his alma mater to the Big Ten Championship game in two of the last three years only to lose to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game. 

Still, Fitzgerald has orchestrated the Wildcats into one of the most consistent teams in the Big Ten. The Wildcats have been to five bowl games since the 2015 season and appear to be primed to head to another one this season if they can figure out their quarterback play. 

Here is everything you need to know before placing your bets on Friday night’s game between Northwestern and Michigan State in Evanston, Illinois. 

Michigan State Betting Preview: Looking to Build off Tough 2020

Last season was without a doubt a rebuilding year for Michigan State after the departure of the school’s winningest coach Mark Dantonio.

The new coaching staff and schemes seemed to take a bit getting used to for Michigan State last season. The Spartans struggled to move the ball and stop opponents from moving the ball last season and were a -14 in the turnover margin in 2020, so they have areas to improve before things really start trending in the right direction. 

This season appears to be another rebuilding season for the Spartans, but quality wins over Northwestern and a more talented Michigan squad last season show that this is still a roster that has the ability to compete with everyone except Ohio State in the Big Ten. 

Northwestern Wildcats Betting Preview: Toughness Starts at the Top

Despite losing to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game last season, the Wildcats were able to rebound with a 35-19 victory over Auburn in their bowl game. which helped the Wildcats finish the season ranked No. 10 nationally. 

When Northwestern has been at its best in the last decade, it has been anchored by a talented defense. Fitzgerald says that this is the best defensive line in his 16 years as head coach. But with the retirement of defensive coordinator Mike Kankwitz, the Wildcats will have to get used to a new style on that side of the ball. 

Offensively, the Wildcats are starting former five-star and Clemson back-up quarterback Hunter Johnson. In six games in 2019, Johnson completed just 46 percent of his passes for 432 yards and a single touchdown to four interceptions, and after not playing in any games last season it’s somewhat a surprise that Fitzgerald decided to start Johnson. 

Free Betting Pick

Take Northwestern to cover on Friday night and to get revenge against Michigan State for last season’s embarrassing loss. The Wildcats are the better team with more proven coaching.

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