Western Michigan vs No. 15 Michigan State Odds, Picks, & Predictions NCAAF

Western Michigan vs No. 15 Michigan State | Odds, Picks, & Predictions NCAAF

Written by on September 1, 2022

The first Friday of the 2022 college football season is upon us and the only ranked school in action is No. 15 Michigan State of the Big Ten as the Spartans host MAC school Western Michigan, which is a sizable underdog on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Western Michigan at Michigan State NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Spartan Stadium
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN+
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: MSU -23.5 (total 54.5)

Series History

It’s the 17th all-time meeting with MSU having won the past 12. The two teams met most recently back in 2019, with the Broncos falling 51-17. Prior to that the previous three meetings were decided by less than 15 points. WMU is 0-10 all-time at Spartan Stadium.

Why Bet on Western Michigan?

The Broncos finished 8-5 last season, beating Nevada 52-24 in the Quick Lane Bowl. The Broncos racked up 352 rushing yards on their way to their 52 points, both of which were program bowl records. The ground attack was led by Sean Tyler (146 yards) and Jaxson Kincaide (105), giving WMU a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since November of 2019. Tyler added a kickoff return touchdown and was named the game’s MVP. Through the air, Kaleb Eleby was eight-of-14 for 162 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a rushing score.

Eleby and superstar receiver Skyy Moore are both gone from the 2021 team. Redshirt-freshman Jack Salopek has earned the starting job behind center. Salopek, who has been at WMU for three seasons, saw brief action last season.

WMU’s returning receivers caught 44 passes for 768 yards and six touchdowns, and that was all junior Corey Crooms. Crooms had a breakout year and was second on the team in TD grabs and tops on the team in yards per catch at 17.5. While Sean Tyler and La’Darius Jefferson both caught balls out of the backfield, no rostered wide receivers or tight ends have a single catch.

The Broncos brought in graduate transfers Jehlani Galloway and A.J. Abbott. Galloway comes from Boston College, where he caught 18 career passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Abbott battled through injuries in his career at Wisconsin, recording three receptions for 19 career yards.

Tyler was one of the MAC’s top running backs in 2021. He finished with 1,150 yards on the ground and nine rushing touchdowns. It was his first time eclipsing 1,000 yards and the 13th-most in a single season at WMU.

WMU is 2-3 in openers under Coach Tim Lester, but 0-3 in season openers against Power 5 programs. Western Michigan has secured 14 all-time victories over current members of the Power 5 conferences. The Broncos are 14-69-1 versus those programs, with eight of the 13 wins coming against Big Ten teams. WMU’s most recent Power 5 wins came last season in a wild 44-41 victory at Pitt.

Why Bet on Michigan State?

The Spartans were huge surprises last year in finishing 11-2 and winning the Peach Bowl over ACC champion. However, All-American running back Kenneth Walker left for the NFL. He won the Big Ten rushing title, averaging 136.3 yards per game, and finished the season ranked No. 2 in the FBS and No. 1 in the Power 5 in rushing yards per game (136.3) and total rushing yards (1,636).

Redshirt junior quarterback Payton Thorne, who returns, set a school single-season record with 27 touchdown passes in 2021, surpassing Kirk Cousins, who previously held the record with 25 TDs in 2011. Thorne also ranked among MSU’s single-season leaders in total offense (third with 3,414 yards), passing yards (third with 3,233), passing yards per game (third with 248.7), passing efficiency (sixth with 148.1 rating), pass completions (tied for sixth with 234) and pass attempts (seventh with 389). Overall in his first year as the starting quarterback, Thorne was 234-of-388 passing (.603) for 3,233 yards, 27 TDs and 10 interceptions.

Senior wide receiver Jayden Reed also is back. Reed led the Spartans with 59 catches for 1,026 yards and 10 touchdowns as a redshirt junior in 2021. He also ranked first in the Big Ten in punt returns (19.8 avg.; 12 returns for 238 yards) and tied for the FBS lead with two punt returns for touchdowns (62 yards vs. Nebraska, 88 yards vs. Western Kentucky).

After hitting the jackpot last season with Walker III, the Spartans hit the transfer portal again in hopes of striking gold twice with junior Jarek Broussard. He led Colorado in rushing each of the past two seasons and was the Pac 12 offensive player of the year in 2020 with 895 rushing yards in six games.

Michigan State is 7-0 in home Friday night games since 2011 and 9-0 overall in Friday night games during that same time span. All of those games were in season openers for the Spartans. Michigan State is 85-37-3 (.692) all-time in season openers, including a 20-3 record (.869) in its last 23 games. In addition, the Spartans are 103-22 (.824) all-time in home openers, including victories in 22 of the past 23 years.

Game Trends

  • Broncos are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
  • Broncos are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Friday games.
  • Broncos are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. Big Ten.
  • Spartans are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
  • Spartans are 5-0-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.

Expert Prediction

  • Michigan State 31, Western Michigan 13

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