The team of Michigan State Spartans has some promising young talent and a few solid returning players, but quite a few unknowns at this point. The Spartans are projected to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten this year after going 1-8 against conference foes last season. Despite last year’s issues, they have a decent chance at making a bowl game last year.
Much of this year’s success will hinge upon the development of a rather young squad that includes a lot of underclassmen at some key positions. What’s that saying in business? Under-promise and over-deliver? That’s what Michigan State should aim to do this season.
With six double-digit win campaigns in the last eight, the 2018 Michigan State Spartans might be better than the team that won the Big Ten title and went on to compete in the 2015 College Football Playoff. Sparty went 10-3 as well as 8-5 against the spread last season, and returns 21 starters from that team for their 2018 college football betting campaign. No team in the country returns more to the starting roster this season!
Surprisingly, the betting markets aren’t buying into the Spartans whose 9 game season win total has a hefty amount of juice currently attached to the low side of that number. Truly a head scratcher with Mark Dantonio’s troops hosting both Michigan and Ohio State in B1G East play and only traveling to Happy Valley. That at the very least gives them the leg up in the scheduling department against teams expected to compete for the division crown.
Then there’s the other games. Road trips to Maryland and Nebraska could be trouble spots with each sandwiched around that home tilt with the Buckeyes. The trip to Penn State occurs the game before hosting the Wolverines. It’s very possible two of those three games are lost due to poor scheduling spots alone. Should that occur, the non-conference slate likely won’t be enough to save Sparty’s hide in terms of qualifying for the CFP.
Linemakers have five teams pegged to have a shot at winning the Big Ten this season. Of those teams, the Spartans check in dead last with an 8-1 return on investment. All three of their main division rivals sit ahead of them, and that’s telling to say the least. What is it about Sparty’s body of work last season doesn’t have the betting market high on them this season?
It likely has everything to do with an offense ranked No. 91 overall and No. 96 in scoring. Still, the offense returns 10 starters and should thrive a year removed from quarterback Brian Lewerke throwing for just under 3,000 yards and a 20:7 TD/INT ratio. He also proved capable as a scrambler rushing for over 500 yards and five touchdowns. With LJ Scott pacing the offense out of the backfield, Sparty once again has a capable attack at its disposal.
Then there’s a defense that returns nine starters and 10 of its top 11 tacklers from a unit that ranked No. 7 overall, No. 1 against the run and No. 19 in points allowed. Only the Buckeyes managed to solve MSU’s run defense last season. That bodes well for this veteran group to once again be one of the best in the league if not the country. If more of a pass rush is generated, this defense will be quite the beast to contend with all season long.
Beat Penn State, and the sky is the limit. Should the Spartans split at home against the Buckeyes and Wolverines, they’ll still have an excellent shot at producing yet another 10-plus win season. Lose that game and suffer a letdown after one of the big ones, and they’ll have no shot at competing for the Big Ten crown. This is a veteran unit that has the pieces in place for a championship run. There aren’t many holes if at all, and it has the depth should any major injury take a key cog out of the equation. It’s dumbfounding to see the lack of respect the betting markets have for this year’s team. Fade the one-sided action and take a shot going against the grain. If nothing else, it will set up some fabulous hedging opportunities along the way.
Week 1: Utah State at Michigan State Friday, August 31, 7 p.m. ET – Big Ten Network
Week 2: Michigan State atArizona State, Saturday, September 8, 10:45 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 3: Bye Week
Week 4: Michigan State at Indiana, Saturday, September 22
Week 5: Central Michigan at Michigan State, Saturday, September 29
Week 6: Northwestern at Michigan State, Saturday, October 6, 12 p.m. ET
Week 7: Michigan State at Penn State, Saturday, October 13
Week 8: Michigan at Michigan State, Saturday, October 20, 12 p.m. ET
Week 9: Purdue at Michigan State, Saturday, October 27
Week 10: Michigan State at Maryland, Saturday, November 3
Week 11: Ohio Stateat Michigan State, Saturday, November 10
Week 12: Michigan State at Nebraska, Saturday, November 17
Week 13: Rutgers atMichigan State, Saturday, November 24
The College football season is here, and that means there are plenty of stats and information out there to make accurate decisions when investing in the betting lines and totals moving forward.
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Here are the individual conference break downs for each conference. If you click on the conference links we will also break down each school team by team sorted by conference.
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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