2019 FCS Championship Betting Guide: Will North Dakota State Roll Eastern Washington Again?
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nsimba Webster and Easton Stick
2019 FCS Championship Betting Odds: North Dakota State-Eastern Washington
- Odds: NDSU -16
- Over/Under: 61
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
- Location: Frisco, Texas
>> All odds as of 10 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time college football odds and win probabilities.
Shocker — North Dakota State is back in the FCS title game, which kicks at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Bison have won six of the last seven titles and upset James Madison last season to win it all and prevent a Dukes repeat.
NDSU coach Chris Klieman took the Kansas State job last month, but he has stayed with the Bison through their playoff run, and it hasn’t proved to be a distraction.
Eastern Washington lost one FCS game all year — 14-6 to Weber State — but has rolled since. The Eagles put up at least 34 points in their last seven games.
Market Moves for NDSU-EWU
By Danny Donahue
As a well-known FCS powerhouse, North Dakota State is unsurprisingly drawing a heavy majority of bets (74%). Those bets are of the larger variety as well, accounting for 86% of actual money being wagered. That backing moved NDSU from -13.5 to -14, and then to -16 early Friday morning.
The over has been an even more popular bet, drawing 90% of bettors and 85% of dollars. The total hasn’t budged, however, from its opener of 61.
FCS Playoff Trends
By John Ewing
North Dakota State is 18-7-1 against the spread (ATS) in the FCS Playoffs since 2010. As double-digit favorites, the Bison have gone 12-3 ATS and covered the spread by 8.9 points per game.
By Evan Abrams
In the FCS playoffs over the last decade, double-digit favorites are 37-25 ATS, covering by 3.2 PPG.
EWU’s Star DT Should Play
By Steve Petrella
NDSU has a mammoth offensive line and has run the ball at 6.5 yards per carry this season. The Bison almost hit 300 yards per game on the ground.
There was a chance that All-Big Sky DT Jay-Tee Tiuli, who was arrested in early December and missed the Eagles’ last game, wouldn’t play in this one. That would be a big blow against a front seven that will need all the help it can get against the Bison.
But Tiuli made the trip to Frisco and appeared in the team picture. He was not on the sidelines for the last game, so him being with the team is a good sign.
Just How Good Is NDSU?
By Steve Petrella
Just how good is NDSU? Per the Sagarin Ratings, which include every FBS and FCS team, the Bison are No. 19 in the nation. They’re sandwiched between Texas and Washington State, and a few spots ahead of UCF.
That’s because the Bison blow out everyone, and that goes a long way in these ratings. They’ve outscored their opponents in the FCS playoffs, 131-31.
Eastern Washington is No. 70, between UCLA and Florida State.
Where Does EWU Excel?
By Steve Petrella
Per the Sagarin Ratings, EWU and NDSU had similar strengths of schedule, so there shouldn’t be a big disparity in what you can glean from each of their statistics. The Missouri Valley is the toughest FCS conference, while the Big Sky is No. 3, per the Bennett Rank.
The Eagles have one of the best rushing offenses in FCS, averaging 6.73 yards per carry. They also rank in the top 10 in yards per pass attempt, so there’s plenty of balance.
Can You Lay This Number?
NDSU State is essentially elite in every phase. Look up a stat and the Bison are likely ranked in the top five. This is the team with the best quarterback, best offensive line, best rushing attack and best defense in FCS.
Speaking of rushing attack, I just don’t know if EWU can contain NDSU’s ground game that averages 286 yards and 6.5 yards per carry. EWU ranks 69th on third downs and 46th in rushing at the FCS level, which spells bad news for Saturday.
NDSU beat EWU last year, 40-13, handing the Eagles their worst home loss since 1995. In that game, they outgained EWU, 532-204, in a total beatdown.
As NDSU goes for history — beating Georgia Southern’s national title record — I’m not sure what EWU can do to slow it down. The line is a little inflated on a neutral field, but that never matters with NDSU.
I simply can’t fade this powerhouse, but the line is too high for me to back the Bison now that it’s up to -16.