Mel Tucker and Michigan State will look for a bounce back campaign after missing a bowl in 2023 by facing an in-state foe from the MAC in Week 1.
The Spartans open its 2023 season against Central Michigan laying two touchdowns. With the team transitioning to a new quarterback, will the team be able to hit the ground running?
Here's everything you need for Week 1 action from East Lansig. You can also check out my early week betting breakdown on how I'm targeting totals in the opening week of the season.
Central Michigan vs. Michigan State Odds, Spread and Total
Michigan State vs. Central Michigan Betting Trends
- Michigan State went 4-8 against the spread (ATS)
- Michigan State went OVER in four of six games at home last season
- Central Michigan was 4-7-1 ATS last season
- Central Michigan went 3-1 ATS as an underdog last season
Central Michigan vs. Michigan State How to Watch
- Date: Friday, September 1st
- Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
- Venue: Spartan Stadium
- How to Watch (TV): Fox Sports 1
- Central Michigan Record: 0-0
- Michigan State Record: 0-0
Central Michigan vs. Michigan State Key Players to Watch
Bert Emmanuel: As of this writing, the CMU starting quarterback job is undecided between Emmanuel and Jase Bauer. To me, Emmanuel showcased enough upside to warrant a serious look as the team's starting quarterback. While he didn't pass much, he was an explosive runner, rushing for 496 yards on 96 carriers in four games. He only passed the ball eight times, but he had three runs for over 60 yards and had a school record for rushing yards from a quarterback, 293.
He likely gives the Chippewas a higher ceiling than Bauer, who threw five interceptions to one touchdown in six appearances.
Noah Kim: The writing must have been on the wall for Payton Thorne, who started the past two seasons for the Spartans. Thorne transferred to Auburn following the team's spring game. Kim is a relative unknown, but will look to lead the offense back to the national average after ranking 93rd in terms of EPA/Play last season.
Central Michigan vs. Michigan State Prediction and Pick
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Michigan State struggled overall last season, but this is a significant drop in expectations. The team has had plenty of success against inferior competition, just look last season when the team won 35-13 at home against Western Michigan as 21.5-point favorites and beat Akron 52-0 as 34.5-point favorites.
While I believe Central Michigan take a step forward come MAC play if the team lets Emmanuel run wild, I'm not sure it'll pan out in Week 1 against a Michigan State defense that was 40th in tackles for loss last season.
CMU's pass rush got home plenty last season, picking up 100 TFL's and will face a new-look Michigan State offense that is outside the top 100 in returning production.
I believe this game plays out as more of a grind and will opt for the under as both defenses should have the upper hand with Sparty's strong defensive line slowing down a run-first CMU attack.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!