College Football Betting: BYU at Michigan State

College Football Betting:  BYU at Michigan State

The BYU Cougars are clearly a ‘work in progress’ in Kalani Sitake’s first year as head coach. To be fair, Sitake was dealt a tough hand for a rookie coach. BYU’s status as an Independent means that there are few easy games on the schedule. To the contrary, the Cougars have played one of the toughest schedules in the country. He’s also working with new coordinators on both sides of the ball which is a challenge for any coach, let alone a first year coach. Bronco Mendenhall took his assistance with him to Charlottesville with the biggest loss defensive coordinator Nick Howell who had a large role in making the Cougars one of the nastiest teams in the country for opposing offenses to face. Ilaisa Tuiaki is in his first stint as coordinator but he’s worked with some good programs including time at Utah and Oregon State. A bigger problem is on offense where former BYU quarterback Ty Detmer clearly isn’t on the same page as quarterback Taysom Hill. Some critics have suggested that Detmer’s schemes are more designed for his skill set as a quarterback and not Hill’s. At any rate, he’s trying to force Hill to fit into his concept of what a quarterback should be instead of adapting his playbook to the skills of the talent on hand.

Michigan State isn’t having a great season with a 2-2 SU/1-3 ATS record. They had a ton of trouble with an overmatched (and underrated) Furman team in their first game winning by 15 as -39 point favorites. A win over Notre Dame was next but since then they’ve lost outright as a favorite to Wisconsin at home and Indiana on the road. You can say what you want about Sitake’s performance to date as a head coach but he’s definitely instilled his BYU team with heart. The Cougars are just a couple points shy of being a perfect 5-0 ATS for the year and they’ve been in every game despite a tough schedule.

This looks like a good spot for Michigan State coming off a loss. The Cougars are now a run focused team and Michigan State has a good rushing defense. More significantly, BYU’s defense looks to be wearing down with increasingly poorer performances in the past few weeks. Just a bad tactical matchup for BYU and though they deserve credit for the toughness they’ve shown to date they can’t maintain this schedule without some kind of letdown.