1. Michigan State makes Michigan sweat this one out
The last couple of times there has been a “heavy favorite” in this rivalry game, the underdog has come out on top.
Let’s look back at the 2017-18 Spartans. That team was running through just about everyone in the Big Ten, but the Wolverines smacked the Spartans on their own floor in the only regular season meeting between the two. And then they doubled down, beating the heavily-favored Spartans in the Big Ten Tournament weeks later.
The next season, Michigan State was expected to be taken care of, especially without Nick Ward, at Michigan, but the underdog Spartans gutted out a big win and then beat the Wolverines twice more to make it three wins in the span of a month.
Sensing a theme here?
Well, Michigan State is about a 12.5-point underdog and everyone is expecting an easy Michigan win, but Illinois created the blueprint for beating the Wolverines. I’m not predicting a Michigan State win, however. I’m actually just predicting a closer game here than people think.
Michigan State will cover that spread and make things interesting throughout. The Spartans will shoot better than they have and give Michigan all it can handle.
Tom Izzo doesn’t celebrate single-digit losses, but he’ll have to use it as a “you can beat this team” lesson for Sunday. Spartans lose by five.