If you had the foresight to play the under in every game last week, congratulations on your easy 4-0 week. Weather and great defense were the common themes in the quarterfinals, as the highest scoring game had just 34 points. There was an average of just 22.5 PPG scored in each game.
My plays went 1-3 ATS as I only took the one under and was wrong on all three sides. James Madison and Northern Iowa never had a chance to go over for my one win. Unfortunately, Illinois State put the clamps on North Dakota State’s offense, and Montana State came through while Montana failed to advance to make me 0-3 ATS in my other three picks.
Week 1 Plays – 2-2 ATS
Week 2 Plays – 2-1 ATS
Week 3 Plays – 1-2 ATS
Week 4 Plays – 2-1 ATS
Week 5 Plays – 3-0 ATS
Week 6 Plays – 2-1 ATS
Week 7 Plays – 1-2 ATS
Week 8 Plays – 1-2 ATS
Week 9 Plays – 0-3 ATS
Week 10 Plays – 1-1-1 ATS
Week 11 Plays – 1-2 ATS
Week 12 Plays – 1-2 ATS
Week 13 Plays – 1-2 ATS
First Round Plays – 2-1 ATS
Second Round Plays – 2-1 ATS
Quarterfinals Plays -1-3 ATS
Overall – 23-26-1 ATS
As we’ve believed all year, James Madison and North Dakota State are on a collision course to meet in the FCS Championship. The Dukes and Bison are both heavy favorites on the FCS betting line this week, and the two most recent national champions are expected to win by more than two scores.
2019 FCS Playoffs Semifinals Betting Odds
North Dakota State -17.5 vs. Montana State, O/U 47
The Bison have the second-best defense in the FCS, and that defense came up big to stave off Illinois State’s upset bid last week. North Dakota State failed to score a touchdown in a 9-3 victory, but the defense held the Redbirds to under 200 total yards. This unit is allowing just 267.9 YPG on the year and 4.5 yards per play.
North Dakota State’s defensive backs are the best in the country. The Bison are allowing opponents to average just 5.6 YPA, and that is 0.3 YPA better than any other team in the FCS. That’s not good news for Montana State quarterback Tucker Rovig. Rovig is a decent quarterback, but he is averaging just 151.6 YPG through the air. Montana State’s offense is run heavy, and that allows Rovig to find open receivers, but he doesn’t have the arm talent to beat defensive backs on his own.
The Bobcats are going to have a hard time running on North Dakota State like they have on other teams. The Bison are the best defense the Bobcats have faced, and Montana State didn’t face the top defense in the Big Sky in Weber State. This is the furthest that Montana State has ever advanced in the FCS playoffs, and the Bobcats’ draw contributed greatly to them making it to the semifinals.
Trey Lance has had a phenomenal freshman season. Lance has completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,491 yards with 25 touchdowns and no interceptions, and he is averaging 6.8 YPC to boot. The young quarterback has dazzled, but he is coming off the worst game of his career. Fortunately, Illinois State’s defense is much tougher than Montana State’s defense, and he should shine against the worst defense left in the playoffs.
Play: Under 47
James Madison -16.5 vs. Weber State, O/U 47
The Dukes completely stonewalled Northern Iowa’s offense last week. James Madison didn’t allow the Panthers to have any success, holding them to five first downs before their final drive of the game. That sent a message to everyone that this was the best defense in the nation, and it’s hard to see Weber State having success considering the struggles this offense has faced.
Weber State doesn’t have a quarterback. Jake Constantine and Kaden Jenks have shared the role this season, but neither player has performed particularly well. That’s a major red flag with James Madison on deck.
James Madison saw four defenders named FCS All-Americans earlier this week, and this team wears you down with a punishing ground game that complements the best defense in the country very well. Weber State’s defense is not as stout as it was in 2018, and that could lead to a blowout.
Play: JMU -16.5