Wisconsin vs Michigan State Odds, Picks and Predictions: Struggling Spartans Get Badgered

With Paul Chryst gone and Jim Leonhard now at the helm, the Wisconsin Badgers have already shown some encouraging signs of improvement. As such, we're backing them as 7.5-point road favorites when they head to East Lansing to take on the reeling Spartans.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Oct 15, 2022 • 07:49 ET • 4 min read

A pair of underachieving Big Ten programs face off in Lansing on Saturday where the Michigan State Spartans host the Wisconsin Badgers.

These schools combined for 13 wins in conference play last year but have just one so far this season after the Badgers destroyed the cellar-dwelling Northwestern Wildcats last week. 

College football betting lines hit the board with the Badgers installed as 7.5-point road favorites for this Week 7 showdown with the Over/Under at 49.5.

Here are my best free college football betting picks and predictions for Wisconsin vs. Michigan State.

Wisconsin vs Michigan State best odds

Wisconsin vs Michigan State picks and predictions

After firing Paul Chryst and installing former three-time All-American Jim Leonhard as interim head coach, the Badgers rolled to a 42-7 victory against Northwestern last week.

I don't want to put too much emphasis on that contest since the Wildcats might be the worst team in the conference but Wisconsin showed why they'll be a matchup problem for the struggling Spartans. 

Third-year starting quarterback Graham Mertz has been inconsistent throughout his career with Wisconsin but he's experienced and should move the chains against an MSU team that's terrible at defending against the pass.

The Badgers lean on their ground game which is led by sophomore Braelon Allen (631 rushing yards and 6.1 yards per carry) and he'll shred a Spartans defense that has allowed 217.3 rushing yards per game in conference play. 

Wisconsin's defense has taken a sizable step back from last year's dominant squad but it's still much better than a Spartans stop unit that ranks 65th in the country in the FEI according to Football Outsiders

So much about Big Ten play is about who can be physical at the line of scrimmage, run the ball, and control the clock. With the Badgers boasting the edge in all of those areas, I'll lay the points with the road faves.

My best bet: Wisconsin -7.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Best college football bonuses

Looking to bet on some college football action? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:

A) New users at FanDuel can get a no-sweat first bet of up to $1,000! Sign Up Now

B) New users at DraftKings can bet $5 and get $200 in free bets! Sign Up Now

*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of College football promo codes for 2022.

Wisconsin vs Michigan State spread analysis

The Michigan State Spartans opened their season with a pair of wins against Western Michigan and Akron but since playing against Power Five foes they've been getting smoked. They've lost their last four games by double-digits including last week's 49-20 defeat to No. 2 ranked Ohio State. 

The Wisconsin Badgers had a far easier task last week with the luxury of playing against woeful Northwestern who has a 1-5 record. They took care of business with a 35-point victory but that was just their first Power Five win of the year after lopsided defeats to Illinois and Ohio State and a close home loss to Washington State. 

Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz put together his best performance of the season against the Wildcats completing 69% of his passes for 299 yards and five touchdowns. We've seen plenty of Mertz over the last few seasons and he's usually much closer to the guy that struggled against Washington State, Ohio State, and Illinois. 

That said, he'll find the sledding much easier against a Spartans secondary that ranks outside the Top-100 schools in the country in passing yards allowed per game (292) and yards per pass attempt (8.5).

The Spartans have a solid quarterback in Payton Thorne but their running game has massively regressed from 2021 after losing All-American Kenneth Walker III to the NFL. 

MSU running backs Jalen Berger and Jarek Broussard have combined for just 47 carries and 131 yards on the ground over the last four games.

Wisconsin vs Michigan State Over/Under analysis

The Spartans surprised many by going 11-2 last season but their terrible pass defense was their biggest weakness and it's an area they haven't improved in. 

Their run defense has also been awful in recent weeks and while it's somewhat understandable to give up more than 200 yards on the ground to Minnesota and Ohio State, getting shredded for 175 yards to Maryland is less excusable.

They had a very tough time dealing with Maryland's freshman power back Antwain Littleton II and that's bad news against the 232-pound Allen. 

Especially with Allen running behind a powerful Wisconsin offensive line that always seems to retool. Former five-star recruit Logan Brown just entered the transfer portal because he couldn't hold off Trey Wedig for the right tackle job with the team's incumbent starter Riley Mahlman sidelined with an injury. That's the kind of insane depth this unit possesses.

With the exception of getting torched by the Buckeyes (which is going to happen to pretty much every team this season), Wisconsin's defense has been very good this season.  

They are very strong on the defensive line with Keanu Benton, Isaiah Mullens, and James Thompson Jr. while preseason All-American Nick Herbig leads a talented linebacker corps.

Even in their 34-10 loss to Illinois in Week 5, Wisconsin limited the Illini to 304 yards and 4.6 yards per play.  

Wisconsin vs Michigan State betting trend to know

The Badgers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against a team with a losing record. Find more NCAA betting trends for Wisconsin vs. Michigan State.

Wisconsin vs Michigan State game info

Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Date: Saturday, October 15, 2022
Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. ET

Wisconsin vs Michigan State latest injuries

Wisconsin vs Michigan State weather

Monitor gametime conditions with our College football weather info.

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo