How To Wager All 4 FCS Quarterfinal Games: Think 'Under'

Mark Lathrop

Friday, December 9, 2016 3:47 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 3:47 PM UTC

Our college football handicapper checks out the lines on the FCS quarterfinal games and sees a trend with inflated totals lines. Read on as he breaks down how to wager these rare FCS football lines at SBR's best sportsbooks.

The FCS playoffs start with 24 teams, which has been whittled down to the Elite Eight. These teams don’t often play in games with lines available, usually just the cupcake games that FBS squads schedule early in the year. But every once in a while, one of these FCS teams beats an FBS squad and it is fun to be had by all (except that embarrassed FBS team). Here are my picks for wagering on the FCS quarterfinals, with all odds currently available at 5Dimes. My 2016 NCAAF Record: 38-33-2, +1.60 Units


Sam Houston State At James Madison

This game can be seen on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Sam Houston State is undefeated behind the insane statistical play of senior quarterback, Jeremiah Briscoe. He has passed for 4,459 yards and 57 touchdowns and has thrown for 5 or more touchdowns in 5 straight games. Sam Houston State has 3 receivers with over 900 yards and 10 touchdowns each. The Bearkats are 5th in the nation in passing yards per game at 385.8 per game and 2nd in overall yards at 570.4 per game. James Madison is 9th overall in yards per game at 525.8, behind running back Khalid Abdullah who has 1,387 yards and 17 touchdowns. James Madison has won 11 straight games since losing its season opener to ACC school North Carolina.

The O/U line is logical given the pedigree of these two offenses, but James Madison’s defense is stronger by points allowed per game than any team in Sam Houston State’s conference, period. This is an easy 'under' call for me.

NCAAF Free Pick: 'Under' 91.5Best Lines Offered All: 5Dimes

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South Dakota State vs North Dakota State

This game can be seen on Saturday at Noon ET on ESPN. North Dakota State is the #1 seed in the FCS playoffs and for good reason. The Bison are the 4-time defending national champions, a Division I record, and their seniors have experienced more national championships than losses. Their 2016 season included a win at FBS Iowa.

The Bison's only blemish in an 11-1 campaign was a 19-17 loss to South Dakota State at home. South Dakota State outgained North Dakota State 523-304 in that game and won on a last-second touchdown. Even though this game is in the Fargodome and will be played in perfect conditions, I like the prospect of this being a tough defensive matchup again.

NCAAF Free Pick: 'Under' 50.5


Wofford vs Youngstown State

With one of the lowest totals you’ll see all year for a college game, the Wofford Terriers match up with the Youngstown State Penguins at 2 p.m. ET Saturday in a game that can be streamed on ESPN3. Both of these teams are not just run-first, but run only, and are in the top 20 in rushing yards per game and ranked under 240th per game in passing yards. Wofford also had the top defense in the Southern Conference and Youngstown State was second in defense in the Missouri Valley Conference. These are very evenly-matched teams statistically, so I don’t like the side of Youngstown State -7 at home. The weather will be nasty: snow, wind, and cold. It may look crazy, but 'under' 33.5 is the right call. Look for it to move up a bit as people have a knee-jerk reaction to take the 'over.'

NCAAF Free Pick: 'Under' 33.5


Richmond vs Eastern Washington

The 2nd seeded Eastern Washington Eagles host the Richmond Spiders at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday in a game that can be streamed on ESPN3. EWU is the heaviest favorite on the FCS board at -12.5, as Richmond has picked up 2 upset wins in the playoffs to earn the ‘right’ to play on the road at Eastern’s red field aptly named The Inferno. I'm taking the Eagles -12.5.

But that’s not what I am suggesting you do, as the weather is going to be cold, snowy and windy, and this will be the first bad weather game for Eastern this year. The Eagles have a fantastic passing attack, ranked 4th in the nation, that will be slowed a bit by the weather. Richmond has only given up more than 31 points once this year. The sharp play in this game it to take advantage of the weather and lean 'under.'

NCAAF Free Pick: 'Under' 65.5


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