No. 13 Michigan will play host to its in-state rival Michigan State on Saturday in the Big House in one of the more acrimonious rivalries the Big Ten has going. The best way to gauge how heated a rivalry is is to ask both sides whether it's even a rivalry. The louder and more boisterous they are when insisting that it is not a rivalry -- the bigger the rivalry actually is. This rivalry is a prime example. For a long time, Michigan wouldn't even acknowledge that it viewed Michigan State as a rival. The Spartans were seen more like a neighbor you don't spend much time with, and you were OK with that.
But then Michigan State started getting the best of the Wolverines regularly. From 1968 to 2007, this was a rivalry dominated by the Wolverines as Michigan won 31 of 40 meetings. That run came to an end during Mark Dantonio's second season in East Lansing when Michigan State upset the Wolverines 35-21 in Ann Arbor. That 2008 win set in motion a run that saw the Spartans win eight of 10 against the Wolverines and resulted in the Spartans being more of a Big Ten title threat than Michigan.
Michigan, though, has won three of the last four meetings, and it's outscored the Spartans 65-17 in the last two. Are things starting to tilt back Michigan's way, or is Michigan State ready to make some noise again? Odds via William Hill Sportsbook
Michigan: Michigan's 2020 debut was impressive. There were questions about a Wolverines offense that had a lot to replace and a new starter at quarterback in Joe Milton. A lot were answered during an impressive 49-24 win over a depleted Minnesota team on the road. The Michigan offense looked more explosive than last year, and the defense looked as salty and stingy as ever. It was almost enough to make you wonder if, combined with Penn State's loss to Indiana, the Wolverines weren't once again the biggest threat to Ohio State in the East. Almost. This game could provide more clues.
Michigan State: While it was generous of Michigan State to help Rutgers snap its Big Ten losing streak last week, I'm not sure it was the best plan. It was a disastrous start to Mel Tucker's first season with the Spartans, but if there's a silver lining to be found, it's that we aren't likely to see this team turn the ball over seven times in a single game again. Also, the Michigan State defense played well, allowing only 3.89 yards per play. That's good enough for second-best in the Big Ten right now (ironically, the only team better was the Penn State team that was also upset last week).
Date: Saturday, Oct. 31 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Michigan Stadium -- Ann Arbor, Michigan
TV: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Game prediction, picks
Listen, you're not going to be excited to do it, nor will you be all that comfortable watching, but this line is an overreaction to last week. Michigan State turned the ball over seven times and lost, while Michigan took advantage of fantastic field position and a Minnesota team missing a host of starters. The Wolverines are the better team and will win this game far more often than they lose it, but this spread should not be near this large. I'd take Michigan State +17, so if you want to give me 25 points, I'll take them. Pick: Michigan State (+25)
What picks can you make with confidence this week, and which Big 12 underdog will pull off a shocking upset? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams will win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has returned nearly $4,000 in profit over the past four-plus seasons.