Central Michigan Chippewas at Michigan State Spartans: NCAA Football Betting Free Pick

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The Central Michigan Chippewas (+29) aren’t traveling far to battle the No. 21 Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. FS1 will televise the action and kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET.

Betting Preview: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Michigan State Spartans

Central Michigan is the noticeable underdog here and is currently receiving 29 points from bookmakers. Oddsmakers haven’t determined what the game’s over/under (O/U) will be yet. Based on the way things are shaping up, there should be some good in-game betting scenarios in this showdown.

The line originally opened at -28, but has recently shifted.

The Chippewas are down 2.5 units so far in 2018 and 3-1 against the spread (ATS). They’ve been a good under bet and have posted an O/U record of 1-3.

The Spartans have lost 1.0 unit this season. The team is 1-2 ATS and owns an O/U record of 2-1.

The Chippewas are 1-3 straight up (SU) in 2018 while the Spartans are 2-1 SU.

The Chippewas are on the upswing after a 17-5 win over Maine last week where Tommy Lazzaro completed only seven passes on 16 attempts for 82 yards, as well as one score and a pick. Jonathan Ward (17 rushing yards on 15 attempts) and the signal-caller Lazzaro (44 yards on 14 carries, one TD) spearheaded the running attack in the win. Cameron Cole (two receptions, 17 yards) and Julian Hicks (two catches, 38 yards) shared the receiving duties.

Michigan State just picked up a 35-21 win over Indiana. The team’s defensive secondary allowed the Hoosiers to air it out for 272 yards and two touchdowns. Whop Philyor had a good outing in the defeat, recording 148 yards on 13 catches for Indiana. For Michigan State, Brian Lewerke completed 14-of-25 passes for 213 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Connor Heyward (23 yards on 12 rush attempts) and the signal-caller Lewerke (-6 yards on 10 carries) led the ground game in the win as Felton Davis III (five receptions, 79 yards) and Cody White (four catches, 77 yards) led the pass-catching attack.

Central Michigan has run the ball on 58.8 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Michigan State has an overall rush percentage of 52.7 percent. The Chippewas have produced 120.0 rush yards per game and have three touchdowns via handoffs this year. The Spartans are putting up 119.7 rushing yards per game and have four total rush TDs.

If 2018 results can translate to this game, then it appears the Spartans should own the edge in all aspects of the ground game. Their running backs has logged 3.3 yards per carry while the defense is allowing 1.1 YPC to opponents. The Chippewas have recorded 3.1 yards per carry while allowing a YPC of 4.5 to opponents.

The Chippewas offensive scheme has tallied 138.5 yards per game in the air overall and has three passing scores so far. The Spartans have produced 273.3 pass yards per contest and have five total pass TDs.

Defensively, Central Michigan appears to have the upper hand when it comes to limiting the pass. The team has allowed 194.3 rush yards and 140.0 pass yards per game. The Michigan State defense has given up 323.7 yards per game to opposing passers and 32.7 yards per game to opposing runners. The Chippewas are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 3.00 to opposing QBs, while the Spartans have given up a 5.16 ANY/A.

Passing-wise, Lazzaro is up to 82 yards on the year, and has completed 44 percent of his 16 attempts with one passing scores and one interception. Lazzaro’s got a 2.47 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 3.36 over the last two outings.

We expect the Central Michigan offense to mix it up in this one. Jonathan Ward (82 rushing yards this season), Julian Hicks (38 receiving yards) and Tommy Lazzaro (44 rush yards, one rush TD, 0 receiving yards) have all played key roles lately.

For the home team, Brian Lewerke has completed 37-of-58 passes for 500 yards, four TDs and three INTs. Lewerke’s ANY/A sits at 6.02 for the season and 5.80 over his last two games.

Look for Lewerke to distribute the football early and often in this one. Cody White (147 receiving yards and one receiving TD this season), Felton Davis III (148 receiving yards, one receiving TD), and Jalen Nailor (30 receiving yards, one TD) have collectively put up 353 receiving yards and two TDs over the last two games.

Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Michigan State Spartans Free NCAA Betting Tip

SU Winner: Michigan State, ATS Winner: Central Michigan

Team Betting Notes

  • As a team, Central Michigan has averaged 3.0 yards per carry over its past two contests.
  • Michigan State has averaged 2.9 yards per carry over its last two.
  • The Michigan State offense has lost three fumbles this season while Central Michigan has let four get away.
  • The Chippewas offense has produced zero pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Spartans have put up one such play.
  • The Central Michigan defense has yet to allow a passing play of 40 yards or more, while Michigan State has given up one such play.
  • The Central Michigan offense has created zero rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Michigan State has created three such runs.
  • The Chippewas defense has allowed nine rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while the Spartans have given up zero such runs.
  • The Central Michigan defensive unit has sacked opposing QBs nine times this season. Michigan State has produced eight sacks.