FCS Spring Championship Game Preview

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: 1-1, +0.20 Units
YTD: 10-6 (62.5%), +6.19 Units

We won our larger play on Sam Houston +1.5 vs James Madison. This was a wonderful game. JMU jumped all over them in the 1st half, but Sam stormed back with a 28 point 3rd quarter leading to a 38-35 win. This game had a little bit of everything, but in the end the Sam Houston/KC Keeler home playoff game trends held strong as the Bearkats walked away with a win their fans will remember forever.

We also teased Sam Houston with Delaware +14.5 and that play died a quick and painless death. Delaware led 3-0 but their QB got injured and the momentum shifted quickly after that. The Blue Hens never recovered, even when Henderson came back in the game, and ended up losing 33-3. Even if Henderson didn’t get injured, it’s hard to imagine we would have covered. Impressive showing by the Jackrabbits.

I’ll take my 0.20 Units and move on. It’s a long year. The Spring season is just an appetizer for the Fall and it’s nice to know that we will almost certainly be positive as we head into the Fall.

Spring FCS Playoffs: Championship Game

South Dakota State vs. Sam Houston (Frisco, TX)

The line for this one currently is sitting at -4 or -4.5 for South Dakota State with a total around 47.5. At this point I don’t have an official play. I will continue to monitor throughout the week, but am currently expecting that any plays that I make will be live rather than pregame. Follow me on twitter @MikeyLoBets to get any live bets that I make. I try to give my followers a heads up that one might be coming before pulling the trigger.

For now, let’s dive into this match-up a little bit….

Current Weather Forecast:

Something worth monitoring here… the weather forecast in Frisco, TX (as of Wednesday morning) isn’t looking great right now. Currently they have temperatures around 73 degrees with a 48% chance of rain and 15 mph winds SSE. This will be something to monitor as it could make points a little tougher to come by.

When South Dakota State has the Ball:

The match-up to watch here is the best offensive line in the FCS (South Dakota State) vs the best defensive front seven in the FCS (Sam Houston). Sam Houston has the ability up front to disrupt running plays before they get going. Nobody has really been able to run the ball effectively on them. But we said the same thing about Delaware and South Dakota State had no problems against the Blue Hens. The Jacks have a big offensive line and a 3-headed rushing attack with RBs Pierre Strong (102-577-5.7), Isaiah Davis (73-570-7.8) and QB Mark Gronowski (74-540-7.3). Will their ability to rotate fresh legs in to the game combined with their big O-Line be able to wear down the Sam rush D as the game goes on?

In the passing game, I think Sam Houston is a little vulnerable in the secondary. James Madison’s Cole Johnson went 16-26 for 271 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT against them. South Dakota State’s freshman QB Mark Gronowski continues to get better as the year goes on and is coming off a big performance against a good Delaware defense (10-16 for 162 yards and 2 TD). What Sam Houston has going for them here is their pass rush. They were able to record 5 sacks against JMU last week and have had 5+ sacks in 5 of their last 6 games. Something has to give there as over the last seven games South Dakota State has not given up many sacks at all (with one possible outlier):

  • Western Illinois: 0 Sacks Allowed
  • Youngstown State: 0 Sacks Allowed
  • @ Southern Illinois: 0 Sacks Allowed
  • @ North Dakota State: 4 Sacks Allowed
  • Holy Cross (Playoffs): 0 Sacks Allowed
  • Southern Illinois (Playoffs): 0 Sacks Allowed
  • Delaware (Playoffs): 0 Sacks Allowed

Look for the Jacks to try to get the screen game going to Janke and the RBs to try and slow the pass rush down a little bit.

When Sam Houston has the ball:

South Dakota State’s defense is coming off a monster game vs. Delaware. Granted the Blue Hens always were a little limited offensively and their QB was playing hurt, but the stats are still very impressive: 3.2 yards/play (not rush… PLAY), 7 sacks, and 12 TFL. They held CAA Player of the Year Dejoun Lee to 0.8 yards/rush.

I’m still a little unsure about their secondary, however. Like Sam Houston, they have an impressive pass rush but when QBs do have time to throw they’ve had some success. Delaware’s Nolan Henderson was solid last week going 18-for-21 and the week before SIU’s Stone Labonowitz was very good going 25-for-36 for 247 yards. Sam Houston’s QB Eric Schmid has been very good all year, and like Labonowitz he is mobile enough to buy himself some time and create some plays with his legs.


The lines look pretty sharp here. I lean South Dakota State and the over, but don’t like them enough to play them pre-game. I look forward to kicking back after church on Sunday, enjoying this game and looking for an opportunity to play it live. I’d love to get South Dakota State at +3. I think this will be a back and forth type game, so the opportunity to get South Dakota State at a better line should be there. They did fall behind Delaware 3-0 and Southern Illinois 20-7 the last two weeks, so if they start slow again the opportunity will be there.

Regarding the total, sometimes Championship games start slow. There may be a feeling out process where both teams throw jabs and try to avoid making a big mistake early in the game. If that happens, we may be able to get the total at a lower number. I would love to be able to get over 42.5.

Official Plays – FCS Playoff Championship

Nothing Yet – Will continue to monitor line movement and live betting opportunities

EDIT: After all this, I changed my tune when I saw they took Gronowski’s pads away from him. I got this one when it was 7-0 SDSU in the 1st quarter and they were about to attempt a FG (ended up being a muffed snap). We’ll see how it turns out.

Live Bet

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