NCAA Football Week 1 Picks: Western Michigan Broncos vs. Michigan State Spartans

Western Michigan Broncos vs. Michigan State Spartans
Friday, 8/30/13, 8:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan State -27
Current Betting Line:  Michigan State -28
Opening Total:  45
Current Total:  44.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Michigan State Spartans are 12-2 SU in their L14 season openers
The Michigan State Spartans are 12-2 SU in their L14 season openers

Western Michigan enters 2013 with its 15th head coach in program history, with P.J. Fleck being hired on Dec. 18, 2012.  The Broncos will open up their season against a Big Ten Conference opponent for the sixth-straight year and seventh time in eight years.    The team is 12-26 in season openers on the road, while it has gone 2-11 versus Michigan State, which is important to consider when making your NCAA football picks Friday night.  Western Michigan is 3-8 ATS as underdogs the last two seasons, with the OVER going 6-5 in that situation.

The Broncos will be led by senior quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen, who registered three-straight 300-yard passing games at one point a season ago, while completing 60.9 percent of his throws.  Central Michigan’s running backs have a combined nine 100-yard rushing games in their respective careers.  Four of the team’s returning offensive line has made at least one start, which is important to consider when taking on one of the best defenses in college football in the past few years.

Michigan State is 77-36-3 in season openers, including a 12-2 record in its last 14 games in that situation.  The Spartans have outscored the Broncos by a 326-135 margin in their 12 previous meetings.  Seventh-year head coach Mark Dantonio has compiled a 7-2 record in lidlifters in his career, including a 5-1 mark during his time in East Lansing.  It’s important to consider that the squad has compiled a 44-17 record in games against non-conference opponents since 1999, including a 21-9 mark under Dantonio.  Michigan State is 5-9 ATS at home since 2011, with the UNDER going 9-5 in those 14 contests.

The Spartans are 36-6 against current members of the Mid-American Conference, while they’ve also managed to win more Big Ten games than any other conference over the last five years.  Michigan State returns nine starters and 12 players with starting experience on offense, with fifth-year senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell leading the unit.  He ranked fourth in the Big Ten in passing yards and completed 53 percent of his passes a season ago.

Sports bettors will find that the Spartans are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against MAC opponents.

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