Michigan State Betting Odds Preview
Michigan State won most of its close games during its run to the first Big Ten championship game two years ago, but lost most of its close games last year and came up short. This year the Spartans appear to have many of the pieces in place for another postseason visit to Indianapolis, and perhaps their first trip to Pasadena in 25 years.
Michigan State returned 13 starters last year for its run at a return trip to the Big Ten championship game, but it wasn't meant to be. After a 4-1 start to the season, which included a win over Boise State and a loss to Notre Dame, the Spartans then opened Big Ten play with a one-point loss to Ohio State. After a victory over Indiana, MSU then lost in double-overtime to Iowa, and on a late field goal at Michigan. The Spartans won a close one at Wisconsin, then lost by four points to Nebraska, and by a field goal to Northwestern.
Michigan State then beat Minnesota to become bowl-eligible, and came from behind to defeat TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. So the Spartans finished 7-6 overall, and 3-5 in Big Ten play even though they outscored conference opponents by 10 points. But they also went just 5-8 ATS, including, incredibly, 0-6 ATS at home. This year Michigan State returns 15 starters; eight are back on offense, including second-year starting QB Andrew Maxwell, most of the receiving corps and four along the offensive line, and seven are back on defense. But they'll have to replace RB Le'Veon Bell, who ran for almost 1,800 yards last year, and DE William Gholston. As far as this year's schedule goes the Spartans should be 3-0 when they visit Notre Dame.
They then go to Iowa, host Indiana, and Purdue, and visit Illinois. So there's a chance they could be 8-0 headed into a home stretch of games against Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Minnesota. And in the best news the Spartans miss Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin, the top three contenders from the Leaders Division. The key to the season could come down to that three-game stretch vs. the Wolverines, Huskers, and Wildcats, all of whom beat MSU last year.
Big Ten Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of August 5
Ohio State -115
Michigan State +800