Bet Jacksonville St. & North Dakota St. 'Under' 57 As The Pick In FCS Championship Game

Jake Walker

Friday, January 8, 2016 2:37 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 2:37 PM GMT

No. 1 Jacksonville State (13-1) faces No. 2 North Dakota State (12-2) in Saturday's FCS Championship game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. College Football odds makers favor North Dakota State by 3 points.

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College Football Pick: Under 57

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

The North Dakota State Bison are after their 13th national championship and fifth straight. No team in NCAA history has captured five straight titles.

The Jacksonville State Gamecoks on the other hand, won their only national championship in Division II in 1992.

 

Jacksonville State Gamecocks
Jacksonville State has been on a roll and they could be 14-0 but they lost 27-20 in overtime against Auburn in Week 2, in a game that they should have won. The Gamecocks are led by OVC Offensive Player of the Year, Eli Jenkins, one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the FCS. Jenkins has thrown for over 2,700 yards, 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions, and he is second on the team with 1,250 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground.

Jenkins' main weapons are running back Troymaine Pope and wide receiver Josh Barge. Pope has breakaway speed and he can be a difference-maker, especially if the North Dakota State defense focuses just on Eli Jenkins. Barge's playmaking ability makes him an x-factor and one of the players to watch in this game.

 

North Dakota State Bison
North Dakota State has been without starting quarterback Carson Wentz since October due to a wrist injury. Redshirt freshman Easton Stick has taken over under center and he has played smart and efficient football, throwing for over 1,100 yards, 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Stick can also scramble and make plays, as he has five rushing touchdowns.

Wentz returned to practice two weeks ago and he was listed as a game-time decision over the last two matchups. Should Wentz play on Saturday? He is among the best quarterbacks in the FCS, but he has missed nine straight games, so there will be rust. Besides, Stick has done a terrific job and the team's running game has helped him a lot. 

Star running back King Frazier is the key to this game for North Dakota State. If the Bison want to win on Saturday, they have to run the ball succesfully, which could be tough against the talented Jacksonville State defensive line.

The North Dakota State defense has to step up as well. That unit has been efficient against opposing offenses in this year's playoffs, allowing just three touchdowns and recording six interceptions and eight sacks against Montana, Northern Iowa, and Richmond. 

Here is the complete playoff bracket, courtesy of NCAA.com.

 

 

Final Analysis
North Dakota State can win a fifth straight national championship as long as their defense shows up, but Jacksonville State is the top seed in the playoffs for a reason, and they scored at least 41 points in each playoff game.  

College Football odds makers set the total for this contest at 57. Jacksonville State and North Dakota State have powerful offenses capable of scoring a lot of points but the line is too high. Both teams played extremely well on defense in the semifinals and this will be a highly-contested, evenly matched, low-scoring game. I'm taking 'Under' 57 as one of my College Football picks.

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