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Free Pick: Jacksonville State vs. Michigan St. Betting Spread & Cappers Preview

Week 2: Jacksonville vs Michigan State

College Football Week 1 betting action sees the Michigan State Spartans taking on the Jacksonville State Gamecocks on Friday, Aug. 29 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. Cappers Picks provides free NCAAF handicapping tips all season long.

College Football Odds

Jacksonville State Gamecocks (0-0) at Michigan State Spartans (0-0)
Date: Friday, August 29, 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Spartan Stadium
City: East Lansing, Michigan
O/U Odds: OFF
Spread: Michigan State -32.5

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Jacksonville won’t be getting much respect in this matchup, but the reality is the Gamecocks are one of the top teams in the FCS, and they return 18 starters to a team that went 11-4 last season. The team knows how to run the football and is good on the back end defensively.

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Worse yet for the Spartans, they have Oregon on deck, a massive lookahead spot for Michigan State, whose players and coaches have already been forced to answer questions about that game against the Ducks.

With that said, Michigan State has its sights set on the Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff, so looking beyond its opening matchup would hardly be acceptable for a team with such lofty expectations.
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The Gamecocks will start a player the Spartans may be familiar with, as Max Shortell was a former Minnesota Golden Gopher. He and fellow quarterback Eli Jenkins, who brings an athletic element to the position, combine to make the team’s offense go.

The team returns nine starters on the offensive side of the ball, including four along the offensive line and all the key faces in the receiving corps. That will help the team to hit the ground running right from the opening kickoff, and it will be on Michigan State to keep up.

The negative for the Gamecocks is they have trouble stopping the run, and that’s something the Spartans do quite well. Jacksonville State gave up nearly 200 yards per game a year ago. Michigan State can control the tempo on the ground, and should easily win the time of possession battle if they don’t turn the ball over.

When the Spartans look to pass the football, they’ll need to watch for an aggressive Gamecocks pass rush that generated 52 sacks last season. If the Spartans aren’t sharp from the get-go, they could be in for some trouble early on.

FREE JSU vs. Michigan State Pick:

Michigan State is going to win this football game, but Jacksonville State might not get a return invitation next season. The Gamecocks shouldn’t be giving away nearly five touchdowns, and close to 40 points in some spots.

The Gamecocks will break in a new head coach in John Grass in this contest, and they should have no trouble getting up for this contest in East Lansing, which figures to mean a closer affair than many seem to expect.

The Spartans are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.

The play: Jacksonville State +32.5

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