Akron vs. Michigan State Odds, Picks, and Predictions (9/10/22)

In a Week 2 matchup, we get a power-5 team going up against a visiting mid-major squad for an out of conference opportunity.  The Akron Zips from the MAC will be heading to East Lansing to face off against the Michigan State Spartan of the Big Ten.  Akron has been having a tough last couple of years with only three wins in the past three seasons, but now have new head coach Joe Moorhead who was OC at Oregon who is hoping to turn things around in the MAC.  Michigan State had an exceptional year last year with 11 wins; but after losing their All-American Kenneth Walker, it remains to be seen if these Spartans can reach the same heights as they did last season.  Let’s jump into this game’s picks and predictions.

Akron vs. Michigan State Betting Odds

To no surprise, the Michigan State Spartans are the heavy favorites to win this game as they scheduled an easy out of conference game against Akron for a reason.  They need to stack up as many easy wins before heading off into a very competitive Big Ten schedule.  Michigan State are moneyline favorites at -10000 odds so no real reason to look at that one.  The bet to keep your eye on is the spread line at -34.5 points.  Michigan State will win this game but that is a lot of points to win by, which means there is very little room for mistakes coming from the Michigan State offense to be able to cover.  

The over/under line is currently placed 56 points and will also be crucial on Michigan State being able to get heavy scoring going.  You can count on it from the rushing game, but the passing game also needs to be firing on all sides.  The passing game is great and should not be overlooked.  Payton Thorne threw for 3,233 yards and 27 TDs last season and he also threw for 4 TDs in his week one game against Western Michigan so is not showing any rust.  Jayden Reed was a Big Ten Second-Team All-American Wide Receiver last year and is still quite possibly the second best wide receiver in the Big Ten behind Jaxon Smith-Njigba.  I think the offense should not have any issues.

Akron vs. Michigan State Picks & Predictions

My pick:  Michigan State -34.5 (-110)

It’s a lot of points but I think Michigan State is able to dominate this game and make a statement to the country, after having a closer than expected game against Western Michigan last year.  Michigan State did struggle last year in pass defense but I really don’t see this Akron team able to keep up.  Akron was able to get a narrow overtime win in week one against St. Francis PA.  Joe Moorhead should be able to bring Akron back from the abyss, but it won’t happen just yet.  This team allowed more sacks than anyone in the country last year and Michigan State has a very strong pass rush defense.  I don’t know if QB DJ Irons will have time to get the ball off in time to move the ball up the field.  Michigan State also improved their pass defense with getting cornerback Ameer Speed from Georgia.

The over/under line at 56 is a lot because I truly am not sure if Akron is going to be able to contribute a lot of points.  I believe Michigan State will score with ease but putting up 56 alone is a lot.  I like the under in this matchup if I were to go that direction.

Akron vs. Michigan State Key Matchups

MSU RBs vs. Akron defense

Michigan State’s running game was unbelievable last year and with the departure of Kenneth Walker there were a lot of questions on who would be able to take his place.  Head Coach Mel Tucker was able to go out and get two big running back transfers in Wisconsin’s Jalen Burger and Colorado’s Jarek Broussard.  In week one, Jalen Burger went off for 120 yds and a TD and Broussard added 54 yds himself.  Broussard also played for Mel Tucker from Tucker’s Colorado days so was a big transfer pick up.  They should both be able to have a highlight game against Akron as they were one of the worst run defenses in the country last season.  I’d expect both of them to get a touchdown or two.

Jack is a sports media graduate from Indiana University with a strong expertise in all things sports. A background in sports radio and writing, his favorite pastime is debating hot sports takes. While some people may know him for his opiniated stances, he'll always have an argument to back it up. Just like how Hoosiers is the best sports film of all time without debate!

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