I would take Michigan and the points. There are few blowouts in this series. Their quiet demeanor (so far) this week suggests they realize it's their Michigan Manhood on the line this time. Most athletes are at their best when their backs are against a wall.
There are many reasons to predict a sound thrashing of the UM team on Saturday and only 1 that counters that prognostication. The 1 is that it is a huge rivalry. MSU has many, many times taken down a high ranked UM team. When this backyard brawl starts, everything is thrown out. There are 2 differences this year that make it easy to agree with Vegas betters. First, MSU plays as a team. Second, the MSU coaching staff makes excellent adjustments, not just at half time, but in real time. We have not seen that from the Ann Arbor team. I can see the UM defense possibly slowing down the MSU rushing attack, but not enough and I can not see the UM offense getting any traction. MSU wins... big.
Play-calling by Michigan State will also be important. Top priority is not to spend too many plays slamming into the UM D-Line if nothing much is happening there. MSU needs to stay diverse and creative and throw in a trick play or two (but probably not a fake punt from our own 30). If the Spartans play it too close to the sweater-vest, UM may get good field position several times early in the game, from which big plays can be especially costly to surrender.
But Michigan is basically operating without a backup quarterback, so as everybody has noted, if Gardner has to take a seat, the Wolverines may be hard-pressed to make any progress on offense.
Losing incoming talent and rolling the dice on someone else as "the savior" is going to have its last impact.
That's why it would be great to have one right now. Many people are expecting it (not me) and it would be tremendous for the Spartan program to ring one up for the record books. Any solid win will extend the UM non-dominant perception, and Dantonio might do better in head-to-head recruiting battles. Since starting at Michigan State, Dantonio has won less than one-third of the head-to-head recruiting offers against Michigan. It would be nice for our Coach to get a better percentage of those players, and that just might start happening if there's a trip to the woodshed.
Overall, I have not heard one legitimate argument for U of M this year and that sucks. At least Huskers showed up to tell us how it was going to go. They were wrong. But at least they made the week interesting.
They're all over the place. Some of them want to fire Brandon, some of them want to fire Hoke, some of them want to fire Brandon and Hoke, and some want to keep them in their jobs for another year. Wait, were you talking about the actual football stuff?
Some guys are really flaming on "their" school, and I mean that literally. The dude who posts as "SomeGuy73" has totally had it with Hoke and makes no bones about it. SomeGuy draws a lot of criticism for his comments on M-Live MSU articles, but when you read his comments on the UM side, you can see a Blue Man in flames. They all consider Hoke to be a Dead Man Walking, and then many of them also seem like zombies stumbling in the dark right now. It's great reading, very fascinating!