We enter Week 4 of the college football season after what felt like a nonstop roller coaster of a start to the FCS season.
In our first three weeks, we saw seven FBS teams upset by FCS programs. We won’t see as many FBS/FCS matchups for the remainder of the season, but there’s more than enough excitement among the FCS ranks to keep the train rolling.
Saturday FCS College Football Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
South Dakota State vs. Missouri State
Missouri State fell just short of an upset over Arkansas last week in Bobby Petrino’s return to Fayetteville.
Now, it turns its attention to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, who are tied at No. 2 in FCS rankings.
The Jackrabbits are 11-1 all time against the Bears, with Missouri State’s one and only win coming at home in 2013. However, to keep their streak alive, they’ll need to find a way to slow down the dual-threat Missouri State quarterback. Jason Shelley.
Arkansas struggled to find answers for Shelley, who averaged 306 passing yards per game while completing 62.9% of his passes.
South Dakota State, meanwhile, is off to its worst offensive start to a season since becoming a Division I team, averaging just 277.7 yards per game.
His best chance at stopping the Bears will be pressuring Shelley — something the Jackrabbits have struggled with so far this season, recording just two sacks.
I’m not confident in South Dakota State’s ability to slow down this Missouri State offense with Petrino at the helm on his home turf. The Bears are confident and riding high after last week’s hard-fought battle against Arkansas.
Back Missouri State to end the streak at home, and keep an eye on the Bears as a threatening team when it comes to the FCS Playoffs later this year.
Pick: Missouri State ML -105 (Play to -115)
Montana State vs. Eastern Washington
After getting blown out by Oregon State, 68-28, last weekend, the Montana State hits the road looking to redeem itself against 15th-ranked Eastern Washington.
Montana State got down on Eastern Washington’s famous red turf last year, beating the Eagles by a score of 23-20. However, EWU has been dominant in the all-time series, coming away with the win in 14 of their 17 matchups.
The Bobcats couldn’t get things going on the ground or through the air last week against the Beavers. I think we saw a very different Montana State box score this week against an Eastern Washington team that’s allowing 575 yards per game this year.
Montana State does have injury concerns at running back, but even still I think it can find success against an inferior Eagles team.
Pick: Montana State -2.5 or Better
Incarnate Word vs. Southeastern Louisiana
Incarnate Word comes in ranked fourth among FCS teams. But in my opinion, it may be one of the most well-rounded teams at this level.
The Cardinals boast the highest-scoring offense in FCS, averaging 50 points per contest. They’re led by quarterback Lindsey Scott, who ranks second in FCS with 1,098 passing yards while maintaining a 72% completion percentage — insane for someone who has attempted 93 passes.
Southeastern Louisiana is a hard team to gauge, with two FBS losses and a blowout win over one of the worst teams in FCS in Central Connecticut State. For what it’s worth, the Lions were picked to win the Southland in this year’s preseason poll.
SELA will be a formidable challenge for what has appeared to be an unstoppable Incarnate Word team. I expect a hard-fought battle, but in the end, the Cardinals should come away with the win.
Pick: Incarnate Word -3 or Better
How would you rate this article?