Central Michigan vs. Michigan State Odds & Predictions: Sparty Starts Season with Big Win

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Week 1 of the college football season continues on Friday night with an in-state matchup as the Central Michigan Chippewas take on the Michigan State Spartans.

The Spartans had a brutal year last season, finishing 5-7 and failing to make a bowl in a full season for the first time since 2016. Meanwhile, Central Michigan is coming off a four-win season, but the Jim McElwain era has arguably been the best in school history, with a nine-win season in 2021 capped off with a Sun Bowl victory.

As it stands, the Spartans are a favorite, with the total sitting around 45 points at most online sportsbooks. If you need help picking a side in this game, we have got you covered as we break down the Central Michigan vs. Michigan State odds and give our best prediction.

Read: How to bet on CFB | Heisman Trophy odds | NCAAF National Championship odds

Central Michigan vs. Michigan State Odds: Spread, Moneyline, Total

Here are the Central Michigan vs. Michigan State odds from some of the best sports betting apps:

 

Central Michigan Chippewas (4-8 SU, 4-8 ATS in 22)

2022 was a rebuilding year after most producers left the nine-win team in 2021. Playing a tough schedule did not help, as the Chips finished with only four wins, the program’s lowest since 2018. 

Outside of star running back Lew Nichols, who is now a Green Bay Packer, there was nothing spectacular about this offense. The quarterback situation was a mess last season, but with Daniel Richardson transferring to FAU, that opens the door for Jase Bauer to be the starter this season. 

It does not help that their leading receiver and tight end are gone, and they lost a lot of depth in the skill room to the portal. There are some really solid players still, such as Jalen McGaughy and Chris Parker, but a lot is unknown about this offense. The big boys up front are young, and the running back room has some experience but not many starts. 

Defensively, the Chippewas were one of the worst units in the MAC, but they have a ton of talent up front. With All-MAC Conference picks Jacques Bristol and Robi Stuart on the defensive line and a ton of starting experience in the backfield, this unit could make a big leap this season. 

Central Michigan’s success is going to come down to the offense. They are talented but largely inexperienced, and they just simply have to get better from last season. Even with a star running back like Nichols, this offense averaged 5.0 yards per play, 23.2 points per game, and only 4.1 yards per rush. They also could not extend drives and ranked 125th in red zone scoring percentage. 

That type of production cannot happen again in 2023, especially against a Big Ten school like Michigan State. 

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Michigan State Spartans (5-7 SU, 4-8 ATS in 22)

After looking like a playoff contender in 2021, the Spartans just completely fell apart last season. Losing a Heisman-caliber talent like Kenneth Walker hurt a lot, but Michigan State’s regression last season was still shocking. 

With some of the talent that left from last year’s team, they may be in line for even more regression, and many experts believe they are in for a terrible season. The offense ranks 120th in returning production, and they are breaking in a new quarterback with two-year starter Payton Thorne now with Auburn. 

The job will be down between Noah Kim and freshmen Katin Houser and Sam Leavitt. Kim is likely to be the starter, as he is the only one with college experience. Luckily, he will be behind an offensive line that returns four starters, and he has a talented running back room to lean on, led by Jalen Berger. 

The receiving core took a big hit when Keon Coleman transferred to Florida State. There is also not a lot of experience there, as Tre Mosley, who is entering his fifth season in East Lansing, is the veteran of this group. Still, there are a few names to watch, such as Jaron Glover, Jaelen Smith, and Antonio Gates Jr.

Defensively, the Spartans have a lot more experience returning, and while they were awful last year, they dealt with many injuries and suspensions. They added a few transfers in the front seven to help beef up a unit that could be pretty solid at stopping the run this season. 

The secondary is a big concern, as it has been for the last two seasons. With Jaden Mangham and Malik Spencer ready to take over the starting safety roles, there will be some growing pains, but head coach Mel Tucker has raved about the talent from those two all off-season. 

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Central Michigan vs. Michigan State Betting Trends & Notes

Central Michigan

  • CMU is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games.
  • The total has gone OVER in four of CMU’s last five games.
  • CMU is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games against Mich St. 
  • The total has gone UNDER in 10 of CMU’s last 15 road games. 

Michigan State

  • Mich St. is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games. 
  • The total has gone OVER in four of Mich St’s last five home games. 
  • Mich St. is 6-1 SU in its last seven home games against CMU.
  • Mich St is 15-0 SU in its last 15 games against the MAC. 

Conference previews: SEC odds | Big 10 odds | Pac 12 odds | ACC odds | Big 12 odds

The Spartans have had no trouble beating MAC teams recently. However, they have failed to cover in the last two meetings with Central Michigan and are 3-5 ATS in eight career games against the Chippewas. 

As a 14-point favorite, this would be the lowest number of points they are favored over Central Michigan. The current lowest spread was -14.5 in 2009 when Central Michigan beat Michigan State outright. 

Michigan State has not covered against Central Michigan since 2012, and the Spartans have not really fared well as a home favorite. Over their last 30 games, when playing as the favorite at home, Michigan State is only 12-17-1 ATS. 

Central Michigan vs. Michigan State Prediction: Sparty Takes Care of Business

Although Michigan State has had trouble covering against this team, they are in an excellent spot to start the season strong. 

This may be one of the worst teams heading into a season in Michigan State history, but Central Michigan has its own problems. First, the offense was terrible last season, and they lost the only productive pieces from that unit. Secondly, while the defense should be better this season, they are still not at the talent level that Michigan State is. 

Central Michigan’s biggest strength is the defensive line, and they are going up against a very experienced Spartans offensive line. It also doesn’t help the Chippewas that their offense was one of the worst at extending drives and scoring in the red zone. 

When you are a MAC team playing a Power-five conference, you need to be able to convert third downs and score touchdowns when you reach the red zone. If not, you have almost no chance of winning or keeping the game close. 

Central Michigan may keep this game close to start as Michigan State deals with some growing pains. The Central Michigan vs. Michigan State odds are tighter than they should be given the talent advantage, and we plan on taking advantage of that. 

Central Michigan vs. Michigan State Pick: Michigan State

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How To Watch Central Michigan vs. Michigan State

Date: Friday, Sept. 1, 2023

Kick Off: 7 p.m. ET

Location: Spartan Stadium — East Lansing, MI

Where to Watch: FS1

About the Author
DJ Corrigan

DJ Corrigan

Writer
DJ Corrigan is a sports betting writer for Gaming Today and has been covering the world of wagering since his days at Ohio State University. Corrigan's love of betting the Over and chasing the hungry dogs has led him to a career crunching numbers with an emphasis on NCAAF, NCAAB, NFL, and MLB betting.

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