Badgers predictions: Game 4 at Michigan State

Last week I mentioned how the weekly predictions should be getting more interesting starting this week.

Hmm, maybe I meant next week.

In a call back to the opening game of the season, the national pundits are unanimous who they think will win this Saturday between the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan State Spartans. And it isn’t the road underdog.

Well, there’s always next week. Oh, wait.

Here’s this week’s predictions from around the web and Twitter:

FOXSports.com’s Bruce Feldman: Michigan State 17, Wisconsin 9. "The Badgers’ run D has been superb the past 10 games, holding opponents to under three yards a rush. But as tough as Wisconsin is, I think MSU is even tougher, especially with a fierce front seven."

FOXSports.com’s Stewart Mandel: Michigan State 27, Wisconsin 20. "Wisconsin has a fantastic defense but is struggling again to run the ball like it wants to (ranking 83rd nationally in yards per rushing attempt). Now it faces Michigan State’s stingy run defense with a badly banged-up backfield. Not good."

The Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo: Michigan State 28, Wisconsin 20 — and calls it his best bet of the week.

All three Big Ten Network analysts are picking Michigan State to win. The scores: Tom Dienhart — 17-13; Sean Merriman — 27-15; Brent Yarina — 23-19.

The Sports Xchange: Michigan State 31, Wisconsin 13.

Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com: Michigan State 23, Wisconsin 20. "It’ll be a grinding, tough game that’ll come down to the last drive, and Michigan State will pull it off by hitting a few clutch third down plays to set up a game-winning field goal to get out with a thriller."

The Whatifsports.com simulation has an average score of Michigan State 26.0, Wisconsin 23.7 with the Spartans winning 54.5 percent of the time.

Jeff Barti of CampusInsiders.com: Michigan State 20, Wisconsin 14. "Two quality defenses will keep this tight into the fourth quarter. Michigan State is able to break through late with Holmes and Scott, and the Spartans pick up a close home victory."

Kevin McGuire of Athlon Sports: Michigan State 26, Wisconsin 20.

All seven CBSSports.com analysts are picking Michigan State to win. Four of the seven do believe Wisconsin will cover a 6.5-point spread.

Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com: Michigan State 20, Wisconsin 16.

All four Athlon Sports analysts have Michigan State winning.

The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel: Michigan State 30, Wisconsin 19.

All seven analysts at SI.com are predicting a Michigan State victory.

Brian Pedersen of Bleacher Report: Michigan State 23, Wisconsin 13.

All seven analysts at USAToday.com pick Michigan State to win.

Bill Connelly of SB Nation: His S&P+ projection has it Michigan State 26.5, Wisconsin 26.1 with the Spartans’ win probability at 51 percent.

All four analysts at The Sporting News are taking Michigan State over Wisconsin.

Each of the five writers at MLive.com think Michigan State will win.

All five of the ESPN.com Big Ten contributors picked Michigan State to win.

All three analysts at FootballScoop.com went with Michigan State as the winner.

 

Dave Heller is the author of the upcoming book Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow as well as Facing Ted Williams Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns