Michigan State Spartans 2022 Season Betting Guide

Michigan State Spartans 2022 Season Betting Guide

Written by on June 29, 2022

Michigan State was one of the biggest surprise teams in the nation last year but lost by far its most important offensive player to the NFL in star running back Kenneth Walker III. Will Sparty compete for a Big Ten title again? Let’s break it down for your favorite Odds.

  • Odds to win national title: +15000
  • Odds to win Big Ten: +2800
  • Over/under win total: 7.5

Michigan State Spartans 2022 Season

There were indications Michigan State was going to be much better than expected last year when it won 38-17 in its third game at No. 24 Miami. Payton Thorne passed for 261 yards and four touchdowns, and Kenneth Walker III rushed for 172 yards and caught a touchdown pass.

MSU put itself in the national title conversation briefly with a 37-33 win at No. 6 Michigan to start 8-0. Walker III scored five touchdowns, including what proved to be the game-winning score from 23 yards out with five minutes left in the fourth quarter as Spartans fought back from a 16-point deficit. Walker finished the day with 23 carries for 197 yards and five touchdowns, three in the second half and three for 20 or more yards. The five touchdowns were the most in the 114-game series history between Michigan State and Michigan, and were the most ever by any opponent against Michigan.

However, Sparty was brought back to earth the next time out when it lost at Purdue and its Big Ten title hopes ended in a 56-7 loss at Ohio State. Still, the season ended on a high not with a 31-21 win over Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl to finish 11-2. Trailing 21-10 midway through the fourth quarter, the Spartans outscored the Panthers, 21-0, down the stretch to win their 11th game in a season for just the sixth time in school history. MSU improved by a school-record nine games from 2020 (two wins) to 2021 (11 wins). The Spartans won their second New Year’s Six Bowl (2015 Cotton Bowl over Baylor) in program history.

Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker became just the second Spartan coach to win 11 games in a season (previous five seasons of at least 11 wins by Mark Dantonio). Tucker becomes just the fourth Spartan coach to win his first bowl game as a head coach (Biggie Munn, 1954 Rose; Duffy Daugherty, 1956 Rose; Bobby Williams, 2000 Citrus).

While losing Walker to the NFL will hurt, the QB Thorne is back this season. Thorne’s 3,233 passing yards in 2021 were the third most in an MSU single season (Jeff Smoker with 3,395 in 2003; Kirk Cousins with 3,316 in 2011) and his 3,414 yards of total offense ranked third most (Brian Lewerke with 3,442 in 2019; Drew Stanton with 3,415 in 2005).

Jalen Berger (Wisconsin) and Jarek Broussard (Colorado) will try to follow Walker’s example as impact transfers at tailback. Broussard was Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2020 and rushed for 661 yards last season for the Buffaloes. Berger had 88 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown and two catches for 17 yards for the Badgers in four games last year. Playing in four games as a true freshman in 2020, Berger ran 60 times for 301 yards with two TDs to land on the preseason Doak Walker Award watch list going into 2021.

The Spartans suffered some significant losses on the offensive line, but they do return a couple of solid contributors in JD Duplain and center Nick Samac. Senior guard Matt Carrick will return from a leg injury.

Defensively, safety Xavier Henderson, who was named a captain for the 2021 season and has started 33 consecutive games, will be back for his fifth season with the Spartans in 2022. A four-year letterwinner (2018-21), Henderson leads all active Spartans with 235 tackles, which ranks No. 43 in school history. He also has 12.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass break-ups and two forced fumbles in 46 career games.

Cornerback Ameer Speed, who transferred from Georgia, is likely to immediately step in as a starter. After that, the staff will be looking to linebackers Jacoby Windmon (UNLV) and Aaron Brule (Ole Miss) to hit the ground running.

Michigan State opens the season at home vs. Western Michigan and is an 18-point favorite. The Spartans’ only tough non-conference game is Sept. 17 at Washington. In the Big Ten, Ohio State and Wisconsin visit East Lansing but MSU goes to Michigan and Penn State.

Michigan State Expert Prediction: 8-4, no Big Ten Championship Game

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