In what many saw as a potential down year for the Big 10, they enter week seven of the 2021-22 season with three teams unbeaten that aren’t even named Ohio State. One of those teams, the Michigan State Spartans, might be the biggest shock in the nation as they rank #9 behind second-year head coach Mel Tucker who many considered to be in over his head here.
Can they keep the momentum going as Big 10 road play heats up? Let’s take a closer look.
- Opening Line: Hooisers +3.5, O/U 51.5
- Current Line: Hoosiers +4.5, O/U 48.5
The Mel Tucker experiment appears to be working faster than expected in Lansing as the second year has started 6-0 (3-0 Big 10) and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The offense has been carried by freshman running back Kenneth Walker II, who is #1 in the nation with 913 yards on the ground and 9 TDs.
Peyton Thorne leads the passing attack and has been stellar, throwing for 1,500+ yards and a touchdown to interception ratio of 14:2.
For the Hoosiers, a stellar 2020 has been followed up by a dud of a 2021 so far, as they come into this one 2-3 (0-2 Big 10), and things aren’t getting any easier. In their 24-0 shutout loss to Penn State, they lost quarterback Michael Penix with a shoulder injury, who likely will be out for this one.
In his place steps Jack Tuttle, who has been at Indiana for three seasons and has amassed a record of 1-1, 564 yards, and three touchdowns. Much more of a game manager than Penix, head coach Tom Allen knows his defense has its work cut out for them this week with limited ability on the offensive side of the ball.
- Spartans 6-2 ATS in L8 away games
- Over is 5-1 in L6 meetings
While Indiana has certainly struggled out of the gates, they’ve gotten no breaks with losses coming on the road at Iowa and Penn State and then at home vs. Cincinnati. With Penix at quarterback, I’d likely be taking Indiana outright in this one. I just have a hard time putting post-tax dollars on the likes of Tuttle.
With the under getting away from us already down three points since opening, I’m laying the points with the Spartans who should leave it all on the field with a bye week on deck.
Pick: Michigan State -4.5
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