The FCS is near the playoffs and with so many cancelations, records probably aren’t what they should be, and standings likely don’t make as much sense. But we’re in the final weeks of the regular season. North Dakota State will take on Northern Iowa in a game between two ranked opponents. Let’s take a look at the NCAAF odds and make a smart pick for this matchup.
North Dakota State Bison vs. Northern Iowa Panthers
Saturday, April 10, 2021 – 5:00 PM EST at UNI-Dome
North Dakota State
The Bison are ranked second in the nation, and they're just 5-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play. They’ve averaged 26.3 points per game and nearly 360 yards of offense per game. That offense is led by Zeb Noland, who has completed just 51.8 passes per game and has four touchdowns compared to six interceptions.
This team will rely mostly on the run and are seventh in the nation in yards on the ground with 1369. Kobe Johnson leads the team in rushing yards with 278 this season on 62 attempts. He’s averaging 4.5 yards per carry and has two touchdowns. Hunter Luepke averages 217 yards on 30 attempts in two games this season but has four touchdowns to lead the team in touchdowns on the ground.
The one loss for this team was back on February 27 when they lost badly to Southern Illinois, 38-14. That lit a fire under this team as they’ve allowed less than 14 points in their last three games. The defense has allowed just 16.5 points per game now and 282.2 yards per game. Touchdowns are hard to come by against this North Dakota State team.
Northern Iowa, on the other hand, are a passing attack and average 301.5 yards per game. They’re averaging 19.5 points per game and have more field goals than touchdowns. They’re not figuring it out in the red zone this season.
Will McElvain is the leading quarterback for this team and has completed just over 50 percent of passes and has one touchdown and two interceptions. Justin Fomby has some starts as well; with a 63.5 percent completion percentage, but still, just one touchdown thrown.
On defense, Northern Iowa has limited teams to just 14 points per game and eight touchdowns. So while the offense struggles, the defense has its back. They’ve lost three games by one score and just defeated Western Illinois 34-20 in an offensive explosion, at least for this team.
North Dakota State is a title contender. Don’t expect many points from Northern Iowa in this game. They’ll come up short like they always do.
Therefore, I like the under in this game at top sportsbooks. Outside of the Western Illinois game, Northern Iowa games have been low on the total. They’ve got a solid defense and an offense that really struggles to score against premier teams like NDSU.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.