It has been a long time since Michigan State has played a home game, but with an FCS school as an opponent, the Spartans are big favorites.
Michigan State (1-0) will play host to Youngstown State (1-0) at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing at noon Saturday on the Big Ten Network (BTN).
Under second-year head coach Mel Tucker, the Spartans open as 19.5-point favorites for their Saturday home opener against Youngstown State, according to a line posted this week by DraftKings Michigan.
FanDuel Michigan has Michigan State as a 20.5-point favorite, while Tipico Sportsbook has the Spartans at -1200 on the moneyline with Youngstown State at +700. It also has the Spartans listed as a -20.5 point favorite for MI online gambling enthusiasts.
Big Road Win for Spartans
Behind a 264-yard, four touchdown performance by junior running back Kenneth Walker III, the Spartans upended Big Ten conference foe Northwestern on the road, 38-21, on Sept. 3.
Walker has put himself on the DraftKings Heisman Watch List and has odds of +7500 to capture the prestigious award by virtue of his season-opening performance.
The Spartans had an abbreviated season in 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns, going 2-5. The last home game was in early December, a 52-15 loss to Ohio State.
OT Win for Youngstown State
Last Thursday, Youngstown State came from behind to edge Incarnate Word at home, 44-41, in overtime. Senior Colt McFadden hit a 41-yard field goal to tie the game as time expired in regulation and hit a 27-yarder in OT to secure the win for the Penguins.
Senior tailback Jaleel McLaughlin helped the Penguins' cause with 242 yards on the ground and two rushing TDs.
Michigan State defeated Youngstown State, 55-17, in their last meeting in 2013.
Prediction: Michigan State will rely heavily on Walker early and look to remain injury-free throughout the game. The Spartans will roll to an easy victory and improve to 2-0 before heading to Miami (Fla.) for a noon tilt on Saturday, Sept. 18. Michigan State 48, Youngstown State 17.