Game: Western Michigan Broncos @ Michigan State Spartans
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Broncos +20.5, Spartans -20.5
To play No. 15 Michigan State tonight, Western Michigan travels just a short distance to East Lansing. It will be a family affair for quarterback Payton Thorne of the Spartans. The offensive coordinator for the Broncos is Jeff Thorne, the MSU quarterback’s father. Thorne won a national title while serving as the Division III head coach at North Central College in Illinois.
Last season, the younger Thorne guided Michigan State to an 11-2 record and a Peach Bowl triumph. Now that the junior quarterback and quick wide receiver Jayden Reed are back, the Spartans can focus on winning the Big Ten in 2022. Kenneth Walker III, a running back selected in the NFL draft, won’t be at MSU as he is now in the NFL. Walker and three of the offensive line’s five starters will need to be replaced.
On the other hand, Western Michigan boasts one of the strongest one-two running back punches in the nation. Last season, La’Darius Jefferson and Sean Tyler combined for over 2,000 rushing yards and Jefferson had 10 touchdowns himself. The Broncos’ rushing offense was ranked No. 17 in the country last year averaging 212.8 yards per game. Coach Tim Lester’s running game contributed to his team’s 8-5 record and victory over Nevada in the Quick Lane Bowl.
The Broncos have an 0-8 SU record against Michigan State in their last eight meetings. In their previous seven visits to East Lansing, WMU is also 0-7 SU. At 2-4 ATS throughout their final six games of the previous season, the Broncos weren’t a strong team when it came to covering the spread. In their last six games versus the Spartans, they have only gone 2-4 ATS. Western Michigan is no stranger to playing Big Ten teams from Michigan. The Broncos lost to Michigan last year 47-14.
The Spartans have an 11-2 SU record over their last 13 games, and in seven of their final nine games of the previous season, they covered the spread. In its previous six home games, Michigan State is 6-0 SU, and the Spartans have won all eight of their last eight games with Western Michigan.
It should be remembered that last season, Michigan State had the nation’s worst pass defense. Nobody could stop them. Last season, the Spartans allowed 324.8 passing yards per game. Tonight’s total may be impacted by the Spartans’ pass defense. Last year, both clubs scored more than 30 points per game.
In six of Western Michigan’s final eight games last year, the game total went Over. For Michigan State, the season’s final five games, four of which went Over the total, it was a similar story.
It’s interesting to note that last season, the Broncos’ time of possession ranked fourth in the country. in every game in 2021, WMU had the ball for over 35 minutes. That might also have an effect on tonight’s total as well as the outcome of the game.
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