Today's Free Picks for
Posted on July 25
Michigan State over 7½ +105
First off, we rarely play overs because it is impossible for oddsmakers to anticipate which players will inevitably be injured but we’ll make an exception here. Michigan State returns 17 starters this year, which is the fourth most in the country. That matters. They also return the entire defensive line, which is another key point in the usually low scoring, defensive-minded Big-10 conference. MSU could easily get off to a 5-0 start with four of its first five games all being at home against Tulsa, Western Michigan, Arizona State, and finally Indiana in Week 5. In Week 4, the Spartans play at Northwestern. Incidentally, Arizona St. is a 25-1 shot to win the PAC-12 and Indiana and Northwestern’s season win totals are both 6½ with 40 cents juice on the under. There is a great chance that Michigan State opens 5-0 but we’ll gladly take 4-1 too.
Last season, MSU’s defense ranked #1 in the country against the run. With that aforementioned defensive line intact, it would be reasonable to suggest they’ll be just as good or even better. On offense, the Spartans return the entire offensive line too. An elite defense and the return of a healthy, capable quarterback in Brian Lewerke will stack Michigan State with the goods to give any team trouble. A revamped offensive approach under new offensive coordinator Brad Salem, that will feature a more modern one-back up tempo style will make MSU a tough team to prepare for. Not only can the Spartans go over this number but they could actually finish with the Big-10’s best record. Mark Dantonio had notched double-digit win totals in four of the previous five seasons, but a massive rash of injuries ended hopes of doing it again last year. Injuries caused 10 offensive starters to miss 48 games last year, resulting in the Spartans ranking No. 117 in the nation in total offense and they still won seven games. Asking them to win one more is not a stretch, it’s a gift.
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Michigan State over 7½ +105 (Risking 3 units - To Win: 3.15)