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How and what to watch for Rutgers vs. Michigan State

Rutgers and Michigan State enter their first season with new head coaches. Will the Spartans cover the nearly two-touchdown spread?

A general view of the video board with Michigan State Spartans win on it after the Pinstripe Bowl between the Michigan State Spartans and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on December 27, 2019 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY. Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will head on the road to face the Michigan State Spartans to open the Big Ten season for both teams on Saturday.

Rutgers will get things started in the second installment of the Greg Schiano era. He was the head coach of the Scarlet Knights for 11 seasons, and able to turn them into a respectable program. It will be tougher this time around now that Rutgers is a member of the Big Ten, but this is a team that has struggled to even be competitive in many games the last few years. Schiano hit the transfer portal fairly hard in the offseason as he tries to overhaul this roster.

Just like Rutgers, Michigan State is in Year 1 under a new head coach. Mark Dantonio had been in charge of a successful Spartans program since 2007, but stepped down late in the coaching carousel this offseason and didn’t leave his program in the best spot. Michigan State had to scramble and wound up with Mel Tucker, who has one season of coaching experience and went 5-7 with the Colorado Buffaloes in 2019.

Michigan State has won the last six games of this series, including last season when the Spartans won 27-0 on the road.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Rutgers vs. Michigan State Saturday, October 24th at 12:00 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network, you can stream it via the Fox Sports app or with a cable or streaming service login, or at

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Rutgers (+11.5) vs. Michigan State
Point Total: O/U 44.5
Money line: Rutgers (+345), Michigan State (-430)

  • Rutgers is 3-8 against the spread in its last 11 games.
  • The point total went under in 12 of Rutgers’ last 18 games.
  • Michigan State is 2-7 against the spread in its last nine games.
  • The point total went under in 15 of Michigan State’s last 20 games.

The Best Bet

Rutgers hit the transfer market and acquired several talented pieces that already should have the Scarlet Knights with a more talented roster than they had last season. As a program, Rutgers has more momentum heading into Year 1 under its head coach than Michigan State does. The Spartans will need to fight incredibly hard to get back to where they were recently as a program because they have a long way to go. They should win this game, but I don’t trust them to cover this large of a spread even against Rutgers.

Pick: Rutgers +11.5

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