Wisconsin vs. Michigan State odds, line: 2019 College football picks, predictions from proven expert on 16-2 run

The Wisconsin Badgers aim to keep their undefeated season intact Saturday when they take on the Michigan State Spartans in a key Big Ten contest. Kickoff from Camp Randall Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. It will be the fifth consecutive home game for the No. 8-ranked Badgers (5-0, 2-0) before the West Division leaders hit the road for three of their next four. In order to stay on track for a berth in the Big Ten title game, they have to get past the gritty Spartans (4-2, 2-1) in a battle of two of the top 10 defensive units in the country. Michigan State is coming off a 34-10 loss to Ohio State marked by numerous missed opportunities to remain close with the Buckeyes. The Badgers are 9.5-point favorites and the over-under for total points scored is 40.5 in the latest Wisconsin vs. Michigan State odds. Before locking in your Wisconsin vs. Michigan State picks, make sure you see the college football predictions from SportsLine expert Mike Tierney.

The veteran sportswriter, whose work has appeared in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, has covered college football of all levels for decades. He has emerged as one of SportsLine's leading analysts in all sports.

What's more, he has had a particularly keen sense for the tendencies of these Big Ten programs. Over the past two seasons, Tierney has posted an incredible record of 16-2 on picks involving the Spartans or Badgers.

Just two weeks ago, Tierney told SportsLine members that Northwestern (+24) would put up a fight against a Wisconsin club in a potential letdown spot following its big win over Michigan. The Wildcats did just that and the Badgers never separated in their 24-15 victory, their lone single-digit win this season. Anyone who followed Tierney's advice booked an easy winner and those who have consistently followed him are way up.

Now, Tierney has zeroed in on Michigan State vs. Wisconsin from every angle and has released another confident against the spread pick that is only available at SportsLine.

Tierney knows the Badgers have now pitched three shutouts in a season for the first time since 1937. Jack Sanborn and Chris Orr had two sacks each against Kent State for a defense that has allowed four total touchdowns through five games. Wisconsin leads the country in both scoring defense (5.8 ppg) and yards allowed per game (179).

On the offensive side, running back Jonathan Taylor continues his record-setting pace. The junior is now the program's third all-time leading rusher with 4,916 yards. He already has 16 total touchdowns this season, the most by any FBS player through the first five games since Ricky Williams had 20 for Texas in 1998. Williams went on to win the Heisman that season.

Even so, the Badgers' recent dominance doesn't mean they'll cover the Wisconsin vs. Michigan State spread on Saturday. 

The Spartans have a history of spoiling their opponent's quests for a conference title and they had the same idea in mind last week when they traveled to Columbus to face the high-powered Buckeyes. Michigan State's defense made an immediate statement when it forced quarterback Justin Fields and Ohio State's offense into three-and-outs on their first two possessions.

But the Spartans were unable to capitalize because they gave the ball right back with turnovers that swung the momentum to Ohio State. They also missed a short field goal following a long drive to start the second half and missed a handful of other scoring chances because of penalties and poor execution. 

Still, quarterback Brian Lewerke went 20-for-38 for 218 yards with a touchdown and an interception against a tough defense. Michigan State's No. 7-ranked defense also forced two turnovers and recorded three sacks.

We can tell you Tierney is leaning under, and he's also identified the critical factor that has him all over one side of the spread. He's only sharing it at SportsLine.

Who wins Michigan State vs. Wisconsin? And what critical factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Michigan State vs. Wisconsin spread you should jump on Saturday, all from the seasoned expert who has hit a whopping 89 percent of his picks on these teams, and find out.

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