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Michigan State A Large Underdog Against Washington With Mel Tucker Suspended

Eighth-ranked Huskies favored by more than two touchdowns against Spartans




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The Michigan State Spartans will host No. 8 Washington on Saturday without head coach Mel Tucker leading the team. Tucker is currently suspended while the university investigates sexual harassment claims made by sexual assault awareness speaker Brenda Tracy. 

Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reported earlier this week that Tucker’s suspension is likely just a formality before his official firing. Harlon Barnett will act as the Spartans’ interim head coach with Tucker out, while former MSU head coach Mark Dantonio will come out of retirement to serve as associate head coach.

As their head coach faces a scandal, the Spartans will prepare to face one of the nation’s best offenses. Through two weeks, Washington is averaging 49.5 points per game, making it one of the 10 best scoring offenses nationally. 

Spartans underdogs 

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is a Heisman candidate, he’s +850 to win the award at BetMGM, and he’ll stress Michigan State’s defense. The undefeated Spartans have done well to limit opposing offenses through two weeks — Central Michigan and Richmond combined to score 21 points — but Washington’s offense is much more dangerous than those other two. 

The Huskies’ dynamic offense coupled with Michigan State’s seemingly average team and internal controversy make it no surprise to see UW favored by multiple touchdowns across mobile sportsbooksBetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and PointsBet all list the Huskies as 16-point favorites for Saturday’s game, which kicks off at 5 p.m. ET and will air on Peacock. FanDuel lists Washington as a 16.5-point favorite. 

Michigan State’s moneyline is hovering around +550 at most mobile sportsbooks, where the total is at 55.5 points. 

It could be tough sledding for the Spartans the rest of the season. Of the 10 remaining teams on Michigan State’s schedule, five appear in the AP Top 25. 

Around the state

Elsewhere in Michigan, the Wolverines are massive favorites in their final game without head coach Jim Harbaugh roaming the sidelines. Harbaugh’s suspension ends after this weekend’s game against Bowling Green, where the Wolverines are favored by 40.5 points at most mobile sportsbooks. 

Michigan will likely be a large favorite in most of its games until November, when late-season battles with Penn State, Maryland, and Ohio State figure to have tighter spreads. 

In the MAC, Caesars Sportsbook lists Eastern Michigan as a 7-point favorite against UMass. The operator has Central Michigan and Western Michigan as massive underdogs, however, as the Chippewas are 34.5-point ‘dogs against Notre Dame and Western Michigan is a 28.5-point underdog against Iowa.

Photo: Mike Mulholland/Getty Images