Beat the College Odds: Michigan State -6.5 over Boise State
What an exciting time, as College Football is underway! A weekend where we have over 50 games to find a couple of winners and some value can be a daunting task. The first week is always tough because everything you can rely on is on paper and there isn’t game film of this year’s teams in meaningful action just yet. A lot of analysis is done by reading, when it should as much be based on watching. I like to trust my own feeling I get from watching film more than just reading. Nonetheless, I think I may have found some value for you…
The one thing I do know from last year is that Michigan St has a serious defense and they return almost all their defense from last year and should be one of the best units in the country. This isn’t good news for a Boise St team that has to replace most of their All-American Offense and especially have to replace their record-breaking QB in Kellen Moore, who is now with the Detroit Lions. I acknowledge Boise St has become a household name under Coach Chris Petersen, who is one of the best in the college game, and they have done really, really well in their season openers against big schools. They have beaten the likes of Oregon, Virginia Tech and Georgia to open the past several seasons, all nationally ranked teams. However they did this all with their amazing offense and defense for the past 4 years. This will change this year as Coach Petersen has to reload his squad and it will take some time for his team to gel right away.
Defenses are usually ahead of the offense to start the season and I think Boise St is going to find it really hard to move the football on the road against a top defense.
On the other side of the ball, Michigan St. has lost a lot. They lost their star QB in Kirk Cousins, who is now impressing with the Washington Redskins. They have also lost their top four WR from last year, so the passing game will undoubtedly suffer. The one thing Michigan St has going for them is the run game. They have the most experienced O-line returning in the Big Ten and have a stud RB behind them in Le’Veon Bell.
Boise St is also reloading on defense as well, which should help Michigan St. establish the run and setup some play action for new QB Andrew Maxwell.
I like Michigan St to get an easier than expected win here. Defense rules early on and Michigan St. will prove that. I can see Boise St. having trouble moving the ball and Michigan St. using its O-line, as well as Bell, to move the chains and allow Maxwell to use play-action and hit some easy passes. It is hard to pick against Coach Petersen, but Boise St. just has to replace too much and it will take time for this team to gel, giving us opportunity early on to go against them. Later in the season it may be a different story, who knows, but as of now, take Michigan State.
Stay tuned for my top picks for Saturday in “Beat the College Odds”.