Michigan State has quietly become a monster in the Big Ten over the past few seasons. The program hasn't necessarily received national title attention over that span because they always seem to suffer a loss early in the year. But the Spartans dropped only three games over the last two seasons and ended 2014 with the No. 5 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll.
Michigan State isn't considered a powerhouse or elite national title contender by many experts or even the sportsbooks. However, if Ohio State falters in 2015, the Spartans may be the team to grab the Big Ten title and give the conference a playoff berth. Let's take a closer look at Michigan State's 2016 national title odds with predictions and analysis. All odds come from Bovada.
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Michigan State Spartans 2015 Schedule and Win Totals Odds
Win Total: 9.5
Sept 4: @ W Michigan
Sept 12: Oregon
Sept 19: Air Force
Sept 26: Central Michigan
Oct 3: Purdue
Oct 10: @ Rutgers
Oct 17: @ Michigan
Oct 24: Indiana
Nov 7:@ Nebraska
Nov 14: Maryland
Nov 21: @ Ohio State
Nov 28: Penn State
Michigan State lost only two games last season, and both happened to be against the two teams that played for a national title-Ohio State and Oregon. The Spartans will be returning many of the players that help them produced the No. 1 run defense and No. 7 highest-scoring offense in the nation, and they could become one of those under-the-radar teams that produces great value for bettors.
Michigan State has a manageable schedule , if only for the fact the team has dominated its Big Ten opponents over the last two seasons and will also add experience into the talent pool in 2015. Once again the Spartans' major tests will be against two other contenders in Oregon and Ohio State. The Ducks may have taken a step back with the loss of Marcus Mariota, but the biggest challenge on the road to a playoff berth will be an improved Buckeyes team. Few experts may be mentioning it, but Michigan State is an excellent football team, and finding three losses on its schedule may be hard to do. Take the "over".
Michigan State Spartans 2016 National Title Odds and Trends
Title Odds: +2500
2014 ATS Record: 9-4; 5-2 home
2014 Totals Record: 10-3; 5-2 home
Michigan State is beginning to look like a great value play for bettors searching for a long-shot team to make a national title run. Quarterback Connor Cook will be returning for his senior year with the team, and the former Rose Bowl MVP may be the best player in the conference, and that is including the quarterbacks at Ohio State. The fact that the Spartans will be returning a senior under center, while also keeping many of its position players from 2014's stellar offense, bodes well for the group during its potential Big Ten showdown against Ohio State. Anything can happen in a football game, and wagering on a Michigan State national title run at +2500 feels like a savvy bet.
Michigan State Spartans College Football National Championship Picks and Predictions
Michigan State could be looking at a two-loss season at worse and an undefeated season at best, and any team with that range should probably be getting better than +2500 odds. The reason the squad is so under-the-radar is because of how good Ohio State is. However, if the Spartans can get to their end-of-the-season showdown against the Buckeyes without a loss (which is certainly manageable), all bets are off. Michigan State has been ranked in the Top 10 in defense four straight years, and that experience is what could lead the team into a surprising playoff run. If you are looking for great value and long-shot odds, make a wager on Michigan State.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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