Furman vs Michigan State NCAA Football Week 1 Pick

Posted by Peter Boysen on August 31, 2016 in

The Paladins of Furman University head up into Big Ten country to lead off their season with the Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans are coming off a Big Ten championship season in which they appeared in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff, only to lose to Alabama. Having graduated quarterback Connor Cook, though, the Spartans are widely expected to drop a bit in those conference standings, even though head coach Mark Dantonio has other plans for his squad. This matchup against Furman is more an exercise in executing particular plays than worrying about the competition, as most college football betting experts (and fans) expect the Spartans to win easily.

Here’s a Look at the Furman vs Michigan State NCAA Football Week 1 Pick & TV Info

When: Friday, September 2, 2016, 7:00pm ET
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
TV: BTN
Radio: Furman / Michigan State
Live Stream: BTN2Go
NCAAF Odds: No Line Available at Press Time

Why should you bet on the Paladins?

Without a line available at this point, I can’t say that you should bet on Furman yet. When one comes out, though, if it is over 35 points, you might consider taking the points. The reason for this is that it only takes a mistake or two by the favorite to let the underdog slip back inside that margin of points, and in Week 1, you see mistakes by the favorites. After all, these are kids in their teens and early twenties, and one reason why the power schools put a cupcake or two like Furman on the schedule is to help them work out the kinks without doing any damage to their regular season record. In a situation like Michigan State’s, where the team is having to work in a new quarterback, it might take a quarter or even a half for the Spartan offense to start moving, making it even easier for the Paladins to stay within that line.

Why should you put your money on Michigan State?

Even with Connor Cook and Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year Aaron Burbridge having left school for the pros, the Spartans still have a ton of talent on offense, such as tailbacks L.J. Scott, Gerald Homes, Delton williams and Madre London. This means the Spartans will run the ball more than they have been in the past, but they still have plenty of offense to run over Furman. The Paladins gave up more than 400 yards of total offense per contest in 2015, and their leading tackler, Cory Magwood, graduated. And it’s not like the Spartans don’t have a seasoned quarterback in waiting. Tyler O’Connor started in the Spartans’ thrilling win over Ohio State last year, throwing a touchdown pass on a wet night and then beating out three other competitors for the starting job this season.

My Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I’m predicting a big Michigan State win in their opener. Mark Dantonio enters his tenth year at the helm, and he has turned a program that was historically the state’s second fiddle into an elite college program. This year, prognosticators have them behind Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten standings, which Dantonio will be happy to use as bulletin board material. I’m picking a 44-7 Spartan win.