Michigan State vs. Michigan. It doesn’t get any bigger than that in the Great Lakes state, especially when both teams are off to a hot start. The 3-1 Spartans will travel to Ann Arbor this Saturday evening to face the 4-0 Wolverines, who are currently ranked No. 7 in the country. Michigan State may not be in the Top 25, but you know they would like nothing more than to knock off their in-state rivals no matter what the Top 25 rankings are.

This game is always about football supremacy in the state of Michigan no matter what the records or standings are.

However, the fact that both teams are doing well after four games will add some incentive to this year’s matchup.

Under the lights for the first time

No matter who wins Saturday night’s game between the Spartans and Wolverines, a bit of history will be made either way. For the first time in the 110-year rivalry, the Spartans and Wolverines will play a game under the lights in Ann Arbor. Every game before Saturday’s has had a kickoff time in the early afternoon, usually at noon or a 3:30 p.m. time slot, but this time kick-off will take place shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET.

How MSU can be victorious

Can the Spartans beat the Wolverines? Sure they can, but only if they stop making errors, namely turnovers.

The Spartans have been generally bad with ball execution so far this season as they are a -4 overall. They were at -6 in the turnover department heading into last week’s Iowa game, however, they finished +2 in that game which they won 17-10. Also, QB Brian Lewerke must shine. Lewerke is sneaky good and can turn a broken play into a nice gain with his legs.

Lewerke will have to be better than ever this Saturday for the Spartans as he will be facing arguably the best defense thus far in 2017 in the Big Ten.

How Michigan can be victorious

If quarterback John O'Korn plays like he can, the Wolverines will be fine. The former Univerity of Houston star is going to get his chance to show Michigan fans that he can lead this team to some wins while Wilton Speight recovers from the injuries he suffered last weekend against Purdue.

O’Korn looked sharp against the Boilermakers last week when he had to step in for the injured Speight, completing 18-of-26 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown.

How to watch live, odds, and prediction

So who wins this battle for state bragging rights for 365 days? Las Vegas oddsmakers opened this game at Michigan -14, but it has moved all the way down to -10. That means a lot of money is being wagered on Michigan State. That may not be a wise wager. While many fans like to believe these games are close, sometimes they aren't. When Connor Cook was running the State offense, they were leaps and bounds better than Michigan -- and the results proved it.

MSU beat U of M 29-6 in 2013, and 35-11 in 2014.

That is what is going to happen Saturday in Ann Arbor, however, it will be Michigan earning the big victory. It may not be by 3+ touchdowns, but they will cover the spread.

Prediction: Michigan 34 - Michigan State 17

Game info

  • Who: Michigan State vs Michigan
  • Odds: Michigan - 10
  • Start Time - 7:30 p.m ET
  • TV: ABC Nationally
  • live stream: Watch ESPN