1st Round FCS Playoffs: Official Plays

Rather than creating a new post for each bet, I am just going to pin this post for the week and go in and add information and plays as they come in. As always, follow me on twitter @MikeyLoBets to be notified as soon as I make any official plays.

Last Week Recap

Last Week: 0-1, -3.24 Units
YTD: 6-4, +3.94 Units

The offenses just started too slow and we didn’t get enough from Incarnate Word to hit the over 76. After a scoreless first quarter we we’re all but sunk as the game ended up 42-14. Bad call. Time to move on the playoffs and keep Cameron Ward and UIW in mind for the Fall.

1st Round: Spring FCS Playoffs

Missouri State @ North Dakota (-5.5) (-108) (Bookmaker)

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There is a slight advantage getting this one at Bookmaker. DraftKings/Barstool has it -5.5/-109 and FanDuel has -6.5/-110.

I think North Dakota may be a little undervalued here. Everyone remembers their most recent game when they lost in the Fargo Dome 34-13 and then haven’t played since. Due to Covid-19 sweeping across the Missouri Valley Conference (and Youngstown State quitting with one game to play), it’s been a month since North Dakota has played.

I think it’s important to remember that this North Dakota team was the #1 team in the Nation earlier this year and have beaten two playoff teams convincingly. They beat Southern Illinois 44-21 to open the season and also beat the overall #1 seed in the playoffs, South Dakota State, 28-17. Yes, the NDSU game got away from them a little bit, but games like that are going to happen in the Valley. It’s the deepest conference in the FCS as evidenced by the fact that we see with 5 MVC teams getting in the 16 team playoff.

Now we get to have the classic “rest vs. rust” debate since it has been a month since North Dakota has played a football game. Many people assume teams will struggle after a long layoff, but that hasn’t necessarily been what we have seen from teams in the Covid-19 era. Often times the rest combined with the mental pick-me-up of finally being able to play again seems to give these teams a boost. The Houston Cougars had two stretches where they had 3 cancellations in a row in the Fall and both times they just seemed like the normal Cougars when they got to finally play. Florida also had a long stretch where they were quarantining and then came back and smoked Missouri. And with North Dakota, this is a team that has been practicing. They were planning on playing last week until YSU backed out. So, I’m not too worried about the layoff.

Missouri State has been the surprise team of the Valley this Spring. After an 0-3 Fall, the Bobby Petrino-led Bears went 5-1 this Spring and have won their last 4 games. The schedule broke the right way for them as they avoided playing South Dakota State and North Dakota in the regular season. Despite their strong Spring record, they haven’t looked that spectacular when you dig into the numbers. Their best win was a 30-27 win over Southern Illinois but they were outgained by 54 yards in that game. In their most recent game, against lowly Youngstown State (who was planning on quitting three days later), they were only able to muster up 268 yards of total offense. Their offense has only had one game of 400+ yards of total offense and that was back in the Spring opener against Western Illinois. Their QB play has not been good as their 3 QBs have combined for more INT than TD this year.

North Dakota is a good team. Their only blemish was against in-state rival North Dakota State where they gave up 316 rushing yards. Missouri State doesn’t the power on offense to do that to them. On offense, ND has rushed for over 150 yards every game (averaging 206 rushing yards/game and 5.5 yards/carry). Keep in mind that 3 of the 5 teams they’ve played have been playoff teams.

North Dakota has the stronger resume, home field advantage, and will be plenty rested. I think they pull away in the second half and end up with a double digit victory.

Official Plays – 1st Round FCS Playoffs

Missouri State @ North Dakota (-5.5) (-108) (Bookmaker)
Risking 2.16 Units to win 2.00 Units

 

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