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Michigan State Football Predictions

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Michigan State is coming off a very frustrating 2012 season. The Spartans were expected to contend for a Big Ten Title, but instead went just 3-5 in conference play and narrowly made a bowl game with a 6-6 finish to the regular season. Michigan State was able to end on a positive note as they upset TCU 17-16 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for a winning overall record.

So much attention is paid to wins and losses that a lot of people overlook the fact that all five of the Spartans losses inside Big Ten play came by four points or less. Michigan State featured one of the best defenses in the country, forcing most of the blame to fall on first-year junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell.

While Maxwell needs to improve for the Spartans to contend, his receivers need to learn how to catch the football. The loss of Big Ten leading rusher Le’Veon Bell will be tough to overcome, but with 15 starters returning there’s more than enough talent for Michigan State to bounce back and win the Big Ten Legends Division.

Last Season
Big Ten (Legends)
Record
ATS Record
Over/Under
Points For
Points Against
4th
7-6
5-8-0
2-10
20.0
16.3
Key Numbers for 2013
Returning Starters
Returning to Offense
Returning to Defense
4 Year Recruiting Rank
Strength of Schedule
15
8
7
2.99
30th
80th
Head Coach Mike Dantonio
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
62-40
52-47-2
38-14
23-26-2
20-21
24-17-0
Bowl Games
Bowl Games ATS
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
3-4
4-3
4-2
3-3
21-14
18-15-1
2013 Schedule
2013 Michigan State Spartans Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/30 Western Michigan
-23
1
9/7 USF
-16
1
9/14 Youngstown St
-42
1
9/21 @ Notre Dame
+6
0.32
10/5 @ Iowa
-9
0.78
10/12 Indiana
-14
0.88
10/19 Purdue
-14.5
0.90
10/26 @ Illinois
-15
1
11/2 Michigan
-3
0.56
11/16 @ Nebraska
+6
0.32
11/23 @ Northwestern
+3
0.44
11/30 Minnesota
-15
1
Estimated Wins: 9.20

With three-straight home games to open the season against inferior opponents, the Spartans should be sitting at 3-0 when they head to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish. Winning at Notre Dame seems unlikely, but with a defense as strong as the Spartans have, they figure to be in every game.

The first thing that should come to mind when looking at Michigan State’s conference schedule is the fact that they avoid having to play what should be the three top teams out of the Leaders Division in Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State. That alone gives the Spartans plenty of reason to be excited about potentially returning to the Big Ten Championship Game.

The Spartans could be tested at Iowa and at home against Indiana in their first two conference games, but overall you can’t ask for a much easier start to Big Ten play. Following the Hawkeyes and Hoosiers is a home game against Purdue and road game against Illinois.

Whether or not the Spartans will win the Legends will come down to a brutal three-game stretch in November. It all starts with a home game against in-state rival Michigan, followed by back-to-back road games at Nebraska and Northwestern.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
Big Ten Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
8.5
3 to 1
100 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

This might come as a surprise to the casual fan, but I really like the Spartans’ chances of winning the Big Ten Legends Division. With seven starters back on defense, the stop unit will once again be one of the best in the nation. As the old saying goes, defense wins championships.

There’s plenty of concern about how the offense will produce enough points without Bell in the backfield, but I think Maxwell is going to make major improvements in his second season on the job. You also have to factor in that four of the five starters on the offensive line are back, which will make it that much easier on whoever wins the starting spot at running back. More than anything the schedule really sets up nicely for the Spartans.

Due to their record from a year ago and the public not exactly jumping on the Spartan bandwagon in the offseason, I think Michigan State is going to be a great team to back against the spread.

2013 Projections
Big Ten (Legends)
Big Ten Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
1st
7-1
10-2
OVER (8.5)
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About the Author: Jimmy Boyd is known for his consistency. He's a proven winner in college and pro football, college and pro basketball and pro baseball. He finished as the No. 1 ranked MLB handicapper in 2007 by earning $1,000/game bettors $50,050. He also finished as the No. 1 ranked basketball handicapper in the 2008-09 season, profiting $1,000/game bettors 38,530. His basketball plays have banked $1,000/game bettors nearly $80,000 the last five years. Check out Jimmy's premium picks for tonight!
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