Miami football versus Michigan State national game predictions

Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team is coming off of a 25-23 victory over Appalachian State to earn its first win of the 2021 season. Miami welcomes Michigan State to Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. Several websites have Miami on upset alert. The Hurricanes are favored by 6.5 points according to Wynn Bet.

Miami has started the season with both of its opponents covering the point spread. The Hurricanes were a 19.5 point underdog in a 44-13 season-opening loss to Alabama. Miami was a nine-point favorite in its victory against Appalachian State. Michigan State is 1-0-1 against the spread this season.

Northwestern was defeated 38-21 by Michigan State as a three-point favorite in the season opener. The Spartans won 42-14 last weekend against Youngstown State as a 28 point favorite. The Miami football team will have to focus on the Michigan State run which is sixth nationally averaging 299 yards per game.

The Miami football team is 69th in run defense allowing 137 yards per game through the first two weeks. Most of the national experts are picking Michigan State to win in a close game. The biggest exception is the ESPN Football Power Index who picks the Hurricanes with a 65.7 percent chance to defeat the Spartans.

"ESPN Preview:Michigan State at No. 24 Miami (noon ET, ABC): Michigan State looks much improved from 2020, though it hasn’t faced a test quite like Miami yet. After taking a whooping from Alabama in Week 1, the Canes recovered with a 25-23 win over a good Appalachian State team.The most important thing to look for in this game: Is the falling cat from Miami’s game vs. App State somehow going to be the thing that turns Miami’s fortune around?"

For the Miami football team to defeat Michigan State, they have to improve on offense. That starts with more efficiency in the red zone and on third down. Miami ranks 82nd in third-down efficiency at 36.67 percent. The Hurricanes are 98th in red-zone scoring with two touchdowns and four field goals in eight trips.

"CBS Sports-Tom FornelliMichigan State at No. 24 Miami: There’s nothing I’ve seen from either one of these teams that suggests to me Miami should be this large a favorite. A Miami that deserves to be favored by nearly a touchdown against Michigan State breezes past Appalachian State last week and doesn’t need a late field goal to avert disaster.Meanwhile, Michigan State has looked solid on both sides of the ball through two weeks. The competition hasn’t been fierce, but this is more about how solid the Spartans have looked. I don’t think the market has caught on yet. Michigan State 28, Miami 27 | Michigan State (+6.5)"

The Miami football team needs to show more consistency than it has the first two weeks. The Hurricanes offense was frequently explosive in 2020. Miami has regressed offensively thus far in 2020 despite returning 11 starters. Big plays will be tough against Michigan State, but Miami has to be able to connect on a few.

"College Football NewsWhy Miami Will WinEven with the blowout loss to Alabama – and the tight battle against a good Appalachian State – the Hurricane line is getting into the backfield with a whole lot of tackles for loss. Yes, the Spartan offensive front has been great, but it also hasn’t been pushed or tested so far.If the Canes can hold on against the run – they haven’t been awful over the first two games – they should be able to make the Spartans press a bit. As good as Thorne has been, he hasn’t needed to make any big key throws yet.On the other side, for all of the good things Michigan State has done defensively, it’s been lousy on third downs. Miami doesn’t care about the time of possession battle, but this might be the game to control the tempo and clock.What’s Going To HappenMiami is overdue to start playing a whole lot better, but it’s hard to do anything big against Alabama and an Appalachian State team that might be the best in the Sun Belt.Michigan State is the real deal, but it’s going to be pressed far more than it was against Northwestern. Miami’s defensive front will keep the team in the game, but there won’t be enough consistency to the offense and the secondary will give up two big plays to kill a few momentum swings.Michigan State vs Miami Prediction, LineMichigan State 30, Miami 27Line: Miami -6.5, o/u: 56ATS Confidence out of 5: 3"

Michigan State is 92nd allowing opponents to convert 42.5 percent of its third-down attempts. Miami has to take advantage of opportunities on third down. Limiting big plays and creating a few will make the game easier against Michigan State. The Spartans have started each of their 2021 games with a 75-yard TD.

"247 Sports-Kevin FlahertyMICHIGAN STATE AT MIAMILatest Line: Miami by 6Why it’s upset-worthy: The Hurricanes are here for the second consecutive week after they were a bit too close to an 0-2 start, defeating Appalachian State by two points.Now Michigan State comes to town, and Mel Tucker has done a solid job with the Spartans, starting with a 17-point stunner at Northwestern and following that up with a 28-point win over FCS Youngstown State.For whatever reason, Miami hasn’t hit its stride yet — the opener against Alabama was even rougher than expected — and the Hurricanes’ reward for their inconsistency is a Spartan squad that is running the ball exceptionally well with Kenneth Walker III and throwing the ball efficiently with Payton Thorne.Miami better get things figured out in a hurry."

Michigan State has equaled its 2020 win total after going 2-5 last season. Miami is facing a vastly improved Michigan State team. The Hurricanes need to play with a great sense of urgency. Miami will be challenged on defense. Stopping the Spartans’ run has to be the first priority and make Thorne beat them.

Shehan Jeyarajah of CBS Sports examined the game straight up and against the spread. Michigan State has been more adept ATS in the first two weeks of the season. Jeyarajah previews the Michigan State Miami football game that focuses on Walker continuing to be effective which opens up the passing game for Thorne.

805. ABC. 834. Miami - 6. 2-0. Saturday September 18. 1-1. Noon ET

"Shehan Jeyarajah-CBS SportsWhy it’s listed: The Hurricanes remain in the polls exclusively because of a lofty preseason ranking. With a loss to (A)labama and a 25-23 nail-biter over Appalachian State, their resume doesn’t exactly impress.Michigan State crushed Big Ten West defending champ Northwestern and Youngstown State in back-to-back weeks, but Saturday is its first true test.Pick: The Spartans have not been truly tested through the first two weeks of the year, so it’s difficult to know exactly what the upside is in Week 3. Regardless, these are two teams heading in the opposite direction.Michigan State might not be good enough yet to pull off the upset, but the Spartans are certainly good enough to keep the game close. ATS: Michigan State, SU: Miami"

Jeyarajah lists his keys to success for Michigan State is for Walker to continue establishing the run for the Spartans to open up the passing game for Thorne. “The U needs to hit a few explosive scores to make the game easier” per Jeyarajah. It is time for Miami to return to being the explosive offense they were in 2021.

Next. Miami vs. MSU: Game, broadcast and injury information. dark

Miami plays Central Connecticut State next week in a game that will tell us little about what and who the Hurricanes are as a team. Following the Blue Devils, they will host Virginia in the ACC opener. The Miami football team has to play well against Michigan State to build confidence for the rest of the season.