Bet Home Dog Cover in Michigan St. -vs- W. Michigan: College Football Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, September 3, 2015 12:48 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 3, 2015 12:48 PM GMT

We preview and share our College Football picks for  the matchup between Michigan St. and their in-state rival W. Michigan in the opening game of the 2015 CFB season for each team.

Michigan St. (-18) at W. Michigan 7:00 ET ESPNU
Michigan St. visits in-state rival W. Michigan in the opening game of the 2015 CFB season for each team.  When these teams met in the opening week of the 2013 season, Michigan St. prevailed 26-13 as a 27 point home favorite.  Including that victory, Michigan St. has gone on to compile a record of 24-3 SU, 17-8 ATS L2Y.  Once again this season, with 7 starters returning to each side of the ball, the Spartans are again expected to be among the cream of the crop this CFB season.  But, with their thrilling 42-41 Bowl victory against Baylor to close the 2014 season (4th Bowl win in a row) and with a look ahead next week to revenge for one of only 2 losses last year vs. Oregon, this has sandwich spot written all over it for Sparty.  

In years gone by, the defense has carried this team.  The 2013 team allowed just 13 PPG on 252 YPG.  Even last year’s allowance of 21/316 was impressive, considering they outscored opponents by 22 PPG, while outgaining them by 185 YPG.  But, there are big changes on the Michigan St. sideline.  Gone is long-time DC Narduzzi, who is now the HC at Pitt.  This will be the first game for HC Dantonio without Narduzzi on his coaching staff.  In his stead, is Mark Snyder, the former DC at Texas A&M.  But, remember that is a Texas A&M defense which allowed an average of 30 PPG and 463 YPG in the previous 2 seasons combined.  Narduzzi, he is not!  There is no doubt that the Spartans are an experienced team with a 200 Club offense and an outstanding defensive pedigree.  But, are they ready for this road game in this spot

That brings us to a W. Michigan team, who is one of the most experienced in the land with 16 RS.  Along with back to back Top Rated MAC recruiting classes, this team has learned how to “row the boat,” their motto under 3rd year HC PJ Fleck.  After going 1-11 SU in 2013, the Broncos had one of the biggest turnarounds in CFB last year with a record of 8-5 SU, 9-3 ATS.  Improvement was palpable on both sides of the ball, as they went from being outscored 35-17 to outscoring the opposition 34-25.  The Broncos will clearly be tested in the month of September with games against these Spartans, at Georgia Southern and at Ohio St.  But, none will hold greater significance than this in-state rivalry against the Spartans.

The technicals are all wrong in supporting this play as Western is 3-8 ATS as home dog L8Y, while Michigan St. is a CFB best 17-4 ATS as road chalk under Dantonio.  But, the improved nature of W. Michigan, the sandwich spot for the Spartans and the change in DC for Michigan St. So  this all lead us to back the value laden home underdog with our College Football picks in this spot.

Free College Football Pick: Western Michigan +17 at BetOnline

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