Michigan State 2019 Betting Guide: Bet on Sparty to Bounce Back

Michigan State 2019 Betting Guide: Bet on Sparty to Bounce Back article feature image
Credit:

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kenny Willekes

Michigan State 2019 Betting Odds

  • National Title: 100-1
  • To Win Big Ten: 18-1
  • To Make the Playoff: 25-1
  • Win Total: 8

Michigan State Schedule, Projected Spreads

What to Like about Michigan State

Head coach Mike Dantonio has been straight money for bettors in bounce back seasons. Michigan State had 7 wins or fewer in 2009, 2012 and 2016 and the following seasons combined to go 34-6.

The Spartans finished last season with a 7-6 loss to Oregon in the Redbox Bowl to go 7-6.

As my podcast partner Stuckey mentioned, quarterback Brian Lewerke is healthy this season. A healthy squad on both sides of the ball should make a major difference over 2018. Injuries and inefficient play plagued the roster, as the offensive line struggled to keep a clean pocket for any quarterback under center.

The offensive line loses just one player with four starts from last season, but must improve in the trenches. Michigan State was a lowly 96th in stuff rate, 122nd in rushing efficiency and 126th in goal line success rate. Eight different players started on the line last year, so they’ll have to get the rotation right in 2019 and stay healthy.

I mean, just how injured were the Spartans up and down the roster? Mark Dantonio had five different players attempt a punt in 2018.

What Could Cause Problems

The schedule is rough, particularly for games away from East Lansing. Big Ten road play includes games at Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan. That may be exactly what Dantonio wants, as he is 12-7 against the spread as a road underdog since 2009.

The Spartans also have an interesting scheduling quirk around their bye weeks. Michigan State will not have a game during Week 8 and Week 10, hosting Penn State as the only game between Oct. 12 and Nov. 9.

Other Nugget(s)

Heading into the double bye week scenario after seven straight games may be a huge advantage for Michigan State’s health. The Spartans biggest test in November is in Ann Arbor against Michigan.

The Wolverines will be off a bye week of their own, but Jim Harbaugh is 1-5 against the spread with extra rest since 2016.

Bets to Watch

Michigan State win total Over 8 will get at least a push with health and some positive regression on offense. A college football gambler cannot handicap injuries and turnovers, while the former is what got Sparty into the RedBox Bowl.

Michigan State will be favored in all three home non-conference games. A road trip to Rutgers can be penciled in the win column along with home games against Indiana, Illinois and Maryland.

Take game of the year lines where possible against Penn State and Michigan. The Spartans have dominated the Nittany Lions four of the past five years, giving credence to Michigan State -2.5 on Oct. 26.

We also mentioned Harbaugh having issues covering off extra rest. Michigan State +13.5 against the Wolverines should not be the spread on game day with the assumption that the Spartans offense returns to some level of normalcy while the defense remains excellent.