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Michigan State at Washington Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions for Week 3
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Michigan State and newly extended head coach Mel Tucker are out to prove that last year's surprise 11-2 season wasn't a fluke despite turnover at some key offensive skill positions, including 2021 Doak Walker Award winner Kenneth Walker. The Spartans will get the chance to showcase this new cast of talented playmakers in this true road test against a revamped Washington program, which has gotten off to a hot start in 2022. First-year head coach Kalen DeBoer is looking to replicate his success as Indiana's offensive coordinator in 2019 (31.8 points, 302.4 passing yards, and 432.8 total yards per game), bringing in former Hoosiers' quarterback Michael Penix to pair with a talented corps of Huskies pass catchers.
Michigan State @ Washington Odds for Week 3
Spread: Michigan State +3.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Total: 56.5 (PointsBet)
Moneyline: Michigan State +135 (BetMGM Sportsbook); Washington -150 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
This field-goal advantage for the Huskies may surprise many given that Michigan State is coming off a standout 2021 campaign and sits at No. 11 in this week's AP Poll. But, it's hard to truly make much of these teams' performances through the first two weeks of the 2022 season; Michigan State acquitted themselves well in comfortable wins over two MAC teams (Western Michigan and Akron), while Washington has faced similarly overmatched opponents in blowouts against Kent State and FCS foe Portland State.
Michigan State @ Washington Betting Picks This Week
Though the Sun may still be up out on the West Coast when this game kicks off at 4:30 pm P.T., it should have all the makings of a classic "Pac-12 After Dark" showdown. Penix's experience operating DeBoer's scheme seems to have paid off: the Huskies' offense currently leads the nation in offensive success rate (54 percent) and ranks third in passing success rate (58.6 percent), per CFB-Graphs. This should remain the game plan for Washington's offense, which has averaged 44 passing attempts for 384.5 yards per game (6th in the FBS) through the first two weeks of the season. The Spartans are similarly unafraid to throw the ball around, ranking 15th in the nation in rushing rate over expectation (35.4 percent) so far in 2022, per CFB-Graphs. Passing also shouldn't prove too difficult against an aggressive, but leaky Huskies defense that has allowed 13.8 yards per completion and currently ranks 102nd nationally in expected points added per pass (0.336), according to CFB-Graphs.
Michigan State @ Washington Best Bet: OVER 56.5 at PointsBet
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Michigan State @ Washington Prediction
As is the case in many high-flying offensive affairs, this game might come down to whichever team can come up with the most, or possibly even a few, critical stops on defense. One way to do so will be to get after each team's opposing quarterback. Michigan State signal-caller Payton Thorne showed during his record-setting 2021 season that, when everything is on schedule, he can create big plays in the passing game with 13.8 yards per completion and a school-record 27 touchdowns. But, he's struggled to remain consistent (60.4 completion percentage last year), and this appears to have carried over into 2022, as he's completed just 57.7 percent of his 52 passes while throwing four touchdowns to three interceptions. The Huskies rush defense has acquitted itself well so far this season, ranking 28th in EPA/rush (-0.140) and 30th in defensive success rate against the rush (28.6 percent), and slowing down the Spartans' rushing attack that features a duo of new transfer backs in Jalen Berger and Jarek Broussard will be paramount for putting Thorne in difficult passing situations.
On the other side, Michigan State's smash-mouth defensive front has done a great job harassing opposing quarterbacks with six sacks per game and a team sack rate of 14.46 percent this season. But, Washington's offensive line has given up just two sacks this season, helping Penix to pilot one of the nation's most efficient offenses on third and fourth downs (61.54 percent success rate). The Huskies' pass blocking should only improve if 6-foot-7, 340-pound NFL prospect Jaxson Kirkland is finally able to make his return from an ankle surgery undergone in February. Continuing to convert on money downs while both avoiding and generating mistakes on the Spartans' behalf should give Washington the slight edge needed in order to come away with a close win in this tightly contested matchup.
Final Score: Washington 34, Michigan State 31
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