CFB bad line of the week: Don't get suckered into Michigan State
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Duke nearly came through for us in last week's bad line selection before getting steamrolled by North Carolina State in the second half of a 30-21 loss.

Here's the spread we think is way off in Week 8.

Bad line of the week: Michigan State -13 vs. Rutgers

Handicapping two new teams almost feels like the start of a new season. The Big Ten's starting things up Saturday, and I'm calling out Michigan State right away in the home opener against Rutgers.

Last season may have been the Spartans' last gasp at relevancy before enduring a full-on Year 0. Longtime head coach Mike Dantonio is out, and Mel Tucker is in after a one-year stint at Colorado where he went 5-7.

Michigan State is virtually starting over from scratch, replacing more than half of last season's starting production. The Spartans entered the offseason ranked No. 117 in the nation and second-worst in the Big 10 in returning production.

Michigan State had been synonymous with success throughout the Dantonio era's peak before the program hit a rough patch. The Spartans haven't sniffed the top tier of the conference in some time, finishing with seven or fewer wins in three of the last four seasons.

To make matters worse, there aren't any reinforcements on the way. Michigan State essentially cleaned house on last year's roster and is now relying on a four-year recruiting average that's well outside the top 25 nationally and smack-dab in the middle of the Big Ten.

Needless to say, the Spartans aren't on an ideal trajectory on the recruiting trail.

Year National Rank Big Ten Rank
2020 44 10
2019 33 7
2018 31 6
2017 36 6

Rutgers, meanwhile, entered the 2020 season top 15 in returning production. The offense landed wide receiver/returner Aron Cruickshank from Wisconsin, while the defensive line is led by star-studded pass rusher Elorm Lumor, who declared for the draft in the spring but wasn't selected.

The Scarlet Knights have gone under the total in 13 of the last 16 games when they're double-digit road 'dogs, which potentially spells a low-scoring contest. If that plays out again Saturday, I'd love to have a ticket on the underdog.

We'll fade a Michigan State squad that's 2-7 against the spread the last nine overall, 3-13 ATS the last 16 home games, and 0-4 ATS the last four as a home favorite.

(Odds source: theScore Bet).

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.

CFB bad line of the week: Don't get suckered into Michigan State
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