The North Dakota Fighting Hawks will put their undefeated 4-0 record on the line on the road against the North Dakota State Bison, who are 4-1 on the season. The opening line for this game favors North Dakota State, but do sportsbooks have it right?
North Dakota Fighting Hawks vs. North Dakota State Bison
Saturday, March 20, 2021 – 03:30 PM EST at Gate City Bank Field at Fargodome
North Dakota State
North Dakota State is one of the best rushing teams in the nation, rushing for 1053 yards in five games this season behind Kobe Johnson, who has averaged 4.5 yards per carry and two touchdowns. Freshman Jalen Bussey has got into the action with 25 carries and 237 yards, while another freshman Dominic Gonnella has rushed for 35 times and 165 yards.
The quarterback position is led by Zeb Noland, with Trey Lance out of the picture due to preparing for the NFL Draft. Noland has thrown 54.3 percent completion and has three touchdowns with four interceptions. He’s thrown for 440 yards in four games on 70 attempts. This team feels much more comfortable running the ball at this moment. Not a single player has 10 catches or more on this team, but Christian Watson leads the team in receptions, with nine along with 131 yards. But Watson, who also leads the team in yards receiving, hasn’t scored a touchdown.
Currently, they’re scoring 24.8 points per game and have 15 touchdowns as a team on the season. That’s 14 most in the nation. And they’ve been grabbing chunks of yards this season, especially on the ground.
Defensively, North Dakota State can do better. They’re allowing 1389 yards on the season and have allowed 901 yards passing and 488 yards rushing this season. They’ve kept points allowed down to 17.2 per game but have allowed 11 touchdowns off 277.8 yards per game. It’s not the best defense, but they’ve been able to keep yards per game down, and touchdowns have been limited for the most part outside their loss to Southern Illinois, where they allowed 38 points in a 38-14 loss.
North Dakota, on the other hand, has an impressive offense. They have scored at least three touchdowns per game this season. Behind Tommy Schuster, North Dakota has thrown for 893 yards passing, and the team has accumulated 1764 yards in four games, including 871 yards on the ground per game.
This is a team that has scored 17 touchdowns in four games, averaging 32.8 points per game and 441 yards per game on offense. The Fighting Hawks have a really good offense, and they scored 44 against that same Southern Illinois team that dominated North Dakota State.
On defense, they’ve allowed their fair share of yards but have limited teams to just 17.3 points per game with 354.5 yards per game. North Dakota has only allowed nine touchdowns this season and has limited opponents in the rushing game, which will be important in this game, to 341 yards on the ground in four games.
This is a tough one. Before the season, North Dakota State was probably an easy favorite. Fast forward to this week, and we’ve seen some impressive football out of North Dakota. If they’re able to stop the run as they have, it’s North Dakota’s game to lose. I’ll take the points with the best betting sites. Last week, upsets were happening left and right.
*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.