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Michigan State Spartans Vs. Western Michigan Broncos Free Pick 8/30/13

Western Michigan Broncos (0-0) at Michigan State Spartans (0-0)

College Football: Friday, August 30, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Spartan Stadium)

The Line: Michigan State Spartans -27.5 --- Over/Under: 44.5 See the Latest Odds


The Michigan State Spartans have Big Ten Title hopes on their mind, when the Spartans open their season against the Western Michigan Broncos at Spartan Stadium.

The Michigan State Spartans finished their 2012 season with a record of 7-6, while going 3-5 in Big Ten play last season. The story of the year for the Spartans was their outstanding defensive play, which held opponents to just 16.3 points per game on average. Offensively, the Spartans had solid ground production thanks to the departed Le’Veon Bell, but the QB position was a year long struggle for this team. The Spartans managed just 210 yards through the air on average last year, ranking the Spartan passing attack 86th in the country, a stat which must improve this season. Michigan State looks to have Freshman back Riley Bullough penciled in as the starter, but whoever is in the backfield for the Spartans will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Bell.

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Michigan State Spartans Vs. Western Michigan Broncos Free Pick 8/30/13

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos are coming off a disappointing 2012 season, and with that comes change along the sideline as P.J. Fleck is hired as the new head coach of the Broncos. The Broncos did hold their own in a lot of their losses, however, falling to the Gophers 28-23, and hanging with the Northern Illinois Huskies as well. The Broncos had a solid air attack, averaging better than 289 yards per game. The offense was able to move the ball, but still the Broncos were ranked 62nd in the nation in scoring offense on the year. Defensively, the Broncos struggled, giving up more than 29 points per outing on the year. The Broncos should still be able to move the ball this season, but if the defense doesn’t improve, it could once again be a long season for Western Michigan as the Broncos have Iowa, Northwestern, and Michigan State all from the Big Ten on this year’s schedule.

The Broncos have struggled on the road lately, going just 3-10 away from home, and 5-8 ATS in their last 13 road trips. The Spartans are a tough out at Spartan Stadium, with an overall mark of 9-5. The Spartans are just 5-9 ATS in those games, however.

Fleck is the youngest coach in the FBS at the age of 32, and it will be interesting to see how he manages heading into what surely will be a tough spot for the Broncos. The Spartans will be amped up for this one, looking to right some of the wrongs from last season. I think the Broncos will be able to move the ball somewhat on the Spartans, despite Michigan State’s stout defense. The Spartans win, and win easy, but I just can’t see giving nearly four touchdowns to the Broncos.

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