Miller’s Western Michigan at Michigan State Preview & Odds: Big Underdog & Low Total

Miller’s Western Michigan at Michigan State Preview & Odds: Big Underdog & Low Total article feature image
Credit:

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mark Dantonio and Michigan State

  • Western Michigan hasn't had a ton of success against its in-state Power 5 rivals, but can the Broncos reverse that trend this weekend?
  • Michigan State struggled on offense in Week 1, so WMU will look to take advantage with its own explosive attack.

Western Michigan at Michigan State Betting Odds

  • Odds: Michigan State -16
  • Over/Under: 46
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: Big Ten Network

Michigan State debuted its new look offense in Week 1 against Tulsa, only there wasn’t much “new look” about it. The Spartans just handed the ball off and ran into the line of scrimmage over and over.

When they did drop back to pass, quarterback Brian Lewerke looked really uncomfortable. His offensive line didn’t give him much time, but he’s a senior now and needs to make more plays through the air.

So what’s next?

The problem with Michigan State’s offense the last few years is that it’s constantly in third-and-long situations. That’s never good, but it’s especially bad when you don’t have a quarterback that can bail you out.

In all, Michigan State scored 28 points and had 303 total yards in its Week 1 matchup with Tulsa, but it didn’t come easily.

Western Michigan had a much easier week one game against Monmouth. Coach Tim Lester’s team cruised to an easy victory, but there isn’t a whole lot to glean from that showing given the opponent.

My big takeaway was the play of quarterback Jon Wassink. He completed 20 of his 25 pass attempts for 368 yards and five touchdowns. Yes, it’s only Monmouth, but that’s how you’re supposed to look against an inferior opponent.

While I feel really confident in Wassink’s ability to make all the throws to a talented receiver corps, he’s going to need a huge performance from his offensive line.

Led by end Kenny Willekes, Michigan State has one of the best defensive lines in the entire country and can absolutely wreck an offensive game plan. The Broncos do return three starters from a solid MAC offensive line, but they’ll need to play their best game yet to keep MSU out of the backfield.

Both teams moved very slowly in Week 1, Western ranking 107th in seconds per play and Michigan State coming in 91st. The slow pace of this game is going to limit the number of possessions and cause it to be very low scoring, as evidenced by the total being 46.5.

Any time you’re getting above two touchdowns in a game with this low of a total, you should first look at the dog.

The Pick: This game opened up at 17.5 and I made a play in The Action Network app at that number early in the week.

It’s since come down to 16, but given Michigan State’s inability to score, I feel the Broncos can keep this one within two touchdowns.

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