With the XFL deciding to skip the 2021 season and just continue on with the 2022 season going forward, football fans needed to find something to fill their time. When the FCS and some Division II and III schools announced they would be playing in the spring, fans around the country rejoiced!
Last week was officially the first week of FCS Spring Football. We saw the Trey Lance-less North Dakota State Bison use a great running game to go along with their suffocating defense to beat one of the top FCS programs in Youngstown State, 25-7.
There are more good games this weekend to keep you entertained, so here are the three best FCS college football games this weekend, along with a betting preview for each game.
FCS college football betting odds can be found on Bovada Sportsbook.
FCS College Football Betting
(5) UNI (0-1) vs Youngstown State (0-1)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Stambaugh Stadium — Youngstown, OH
UNI vs Youngstown State Betting
Spread: UNI -7 (-110) | Youngstown State +7 (-110)
Moneyline: UNI (-280) | Youngstown State (+230)
Total: 39 — OVER (-110) | UNDER (-110)
Both the Penguins and the Panthers suffered their first loss of the season last week.
The Panthers dominated most of the game versus South Dakota State last Saturday, but collapsed at the end, giving up the go-ahead touchdown with 17 seconds remaining in the game. However, throughout the game, the Panthers defense struggled and starting quarterback Will McElvain was decent at best. On the other sideline, Youngstown State is returning home after the cross-country trip to Fargo, ND last weekend. There’s a reason the Bison are the number one team in the FCS, but Youngstown State’s run defense was actually pretty good versus the defending champions.
Whichever offense can find its rhythm early, and keep that pace for most of the game, will come out victorious on Saturday.
Prediction: Youngstown State 21, Northern Illinois 17 (YSU +7, UNDER 39)
Check out our best bets for the NCAA Tournament to make right now!
Robert Morris (0-0) vs (2) James Madison (1-0)
Date: Feb. 27, 2021 | Time: Noon ET
Coverage: NBC Sports Washington, FloFootball
Location: Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field — Harrisonburg, Virginia
Robert Morris vs James Madison Betting
Spread: James Madison -38.5 (-110) | Robert Morris +38.5 (-110)
Total: 54.0 — OVER (-110) | UNDER (-110)
FCS powerhouse James Madison wasted no time notching their first victory over Morehead State last weekend, 52-0. All phases of the game were on point for the Dukes. The rush defense was suffocating, and the running and passing attack on offense moved the ball with ease. James Madison is a veteran team with a serious shot to compete for the FCS National Championship.
For the Colonials of Robert Morris, it’s quite a different story. This will be their first test of the season, and it’s not easy to travel to Harrisonburg and play. The defense is a solid group led by linebacker Aniello Buzzacco, who is versatile throughout the second level of the defense. On offense, quick but small running back Alijah Jackson, will be relied upon to keep the Dukes offense off the field for long periods of time.
Prediction: James Madison 38, Robert Morris 10 (Robert Morris +38.5, UNDER 54)
South Dakota (0-0) At (7) Illinois State (0-0)
Date: Feb. 27, 2021 | Time: 1:00 pm ET
Location: Hancock Stadium — Normal, Illinois
South Dakota vs Illinois State Betting
Spread: Illinois State -5.5 (-110) | South Dakota +5.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Illinois State (-210) | South Dakota (+175)
Total: 48.5 — OVER (-110) | UNDER (-110)
Both of these teams were scheduled to open their spring season against each other last weekend, but it had to be postponed until Saturday. This is the best game on the slate for Saturday, so buckle up.
South Dakota’s offense is a bit of a mystery early in the year. They had a fierce quarterback battle throughout the fall and into the spring. However, for the Coyotes, the quarterback just needs to manage the game well, considering the Coyotes have one of the best offensive lines in the FCS, along with a great back in Kai Henry. The Redbirds’ front seven is great, and they should be able to outplay the Coyotes offensive line, but stopping the run is a huge factory in this match-up. This game basically equates to South Dakota’s quick-paced, explosive offense versus Illinois State’s suffocating defense. In the end the Redbirds defensive line will be too much to handle for South Dakota.
Prediction: (7) Illinois State 24, South Dakota 18 (Illinois State -5.5, UNDER 48.5
FCS college football betting odds for Week 2 can be found on Bovada Sportsbook.