The 2012 college football betting season kicks into full swing this weekend with Boise State vs. Michigan State highlighting the Friday night card.
Michigan State had its way with weaker competition last season, winning all five games as a double-digit favorite (3-2 ATS) but this is the first time since 1998 the Spartans will open against a ranked opponent. Since 1997, No. 24 ranked Boise State has won 157 games vs. Division I foes for a .857 win percentage – best in the country.
Several online sportsbooks offered this game at Spartans -6.5 through August but the consensus picks among sports betting sites shows a 65-percent lean to the home favorites. The current line is Michigan State -7 (-102) and 46.5.
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CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Spartans QB Andrew Maxwell makes his first career start tonight, taking over for Kirk Cousins who was drafted in the fourth round by the Washington Redskins. Maxwell showed good poise in the pocket during limited duty last season and he’ll have four returning starters on the O-line to help provide protection.
Joe Southwick will lead the Boise State offense onto the field, filling in for Kellen Moore who recently signed with the Detroit Lions. Southwick completed 40 for 54 pass attempts in two seasons with the Broncos but with five other first-year starters, expect a different look from a unit that ranked fifth in scoring (44.2 PPG) and ninth in total offense (481 YPG).
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS
Spartans HC Mark Dantonio spent the past five seasons crafting his team into a contender by mid-season but this year, it’s time for Michigan State to show they are a serious Big Ten threat out of the gate. Along with the offensive overhaul, Boise State has nine new faces starting on the defensive side of the football and leaning heavily on RB Le’Veon Bell, we look for the Spartans to wear the Broncos down and secure their first win.
Pick: Take the Spartans
Check out the Everyedge.com Sports Handicapping Forum for more discussion on this game and all the weekend NCAA betting action.