FCS College Football Odds & Picks: How to Bet North Dakota State vs. Arizona, Delaware vs. Rhode Island & More
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- Along with your typical FBS games, Saturday's Week 3 college football slate features plenty of intriguing FCS contests.
- We see betting value on North Dakota State vs. Arizona, Delaware vs. Rhode Island and Montana State vs. Oregon State.
- Check out Keg's full betting guide for these three FCS college football games below.
We're three weeks into the college football season, and the desire to bet on football so badly that you’re looking for anything with odds is beginning to subside.
The games are getting bigger every week, and it's easy to focus on the big-name matchups that everyone is betting – while missing serious potential value from the smaller games on the oddsboard.
Here are three games you don't want to overlook on Saturday.
NCAAF Bottom of the Barrel · Saturday, Sept. 17
College Football Best Bets from the Bottom of the Oddsboard
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Delaware vs. Rhode Island
There is only one game this week that includes two ranked FCS teams squaring off as the Delaware Blue Hens will make the trip up the eastern seaboard to take on the Rhode Island Rams.
Both teams center Saturday's game with unblemished 2-0 records, but Rhode Island has added a conference win to its resume. The Blue Hens lead the all-time series 24-11 and have also won two out of the last three meetings.
Rhode Island claimed the win last year due in large part to Delaware quarterback Nolan Henderson missing that game. Henderson is 12-2 as a starter and enters Saturday's contest after setting a career-high in completions against Delaware State in Week 2.
Delaware can pull off the upset, but there's better value in the under at 45.5. Rhode Island has averaged 444 yards per game, but it has done so against two defenses that rank 56th and 76th out of 115 FCS teams in total defense; Delaware is 32nd.
Not to mention — the Blue Hens rank sixth in scoring defense while Rhode Island is 22nd. Both of these teams' most significant advantage is their defense, so expect a rock fight in Kingston.
Pick: Under 45.5 ⋅ Bet to Under 43
Montana State vs. Oregon State
The Oregon State Beavers' final non-conference game will take place in Portland, OR — a city that has not hosted an Oregon State college football game since Ronald Reagan was president.
The Beavers will square off against last year's FCS Championship runner-up, the Montana State Bobcats. This marks the first-ever meeting between these teams with both squads brandishing 2-0 records entering Saturday's matchup.
The last time the Bobcats took down an FBS team was 2006 when they beat Colorado. Unfortunately for Montana State, I doubt that winless drought will end this weekend in Portland.
Montana State must overcome several notable injury designations, especially at running back. Elijah Elliot, a Portland native who was fifth on the depth chart in the preseason, will get the start against the Beavers. The Bobcats do have a stout defense, which led the Big Sky in interceptions last year and ranked fourth in FCS with 18 takeaways.
However, the Oregon State offense has rocketed up the FBS rankings. The Beavers are 7-for-7 in the red zone, and quarterback Chance Nolan ranks third in the country in yards per completion.
As for the Beavers defense: Look no further than Jack Colletto, one of the best linebackers in the nation. Officially listed at linebacker, Colletto can — and has — played about half of all positions on the field and is a threat at all of them.
Quarterback, running back, linebacker — doesn't matter: Colletto to the house. Already this season he has three rushing touchdowns, six tackles and one fumble recovery.
I don't believe Montana State will be very successful on offense against the Beavers, while a lot of the Oregon State staff has connections to the Big Sky. Additionally Oregon State's next two games come against conference favorites USC and Utah. So, getting out of Portland healthy is likely Oregon State's biggest goal this week.
Because of that, I'm taking the under at 52.5, and would bet it as low as 51.
Pick: Under 52.5 ⋅ Bet to Under 51
North Dakota State vs. Arizona
The No. 1-ranked team in FCS heads to Arizona to square off against the Wildcats for our Saturday nightcap (don't talk to me about Hawaii).
North Dakota State, if you aren't aware, is the FCS equivalent of Alabama.
Nine FCS titles since 2011, reigning FCS champion, currently on a 10-game win streak dating back to last season, and a 6 game win streak over FBS opponents.
Arizona will be North Dakota State's first FBS opponent since 2016 — and first ever matchup with a Pac-12 team. And again like Crimson Tide, the Bison have significant turnover every year, yet they seem to just reload with another championship contender squad.
Two games into the season at 1-1 the Wildcats appear to have improved after an abysmal 1-11 campaign in 2021-22. I expect Arizona to be able to put some points on the board: Last week against Mississippi State, Arizona logged 316 yards and 17 points. Additionally, given that North Dakota State averages 49.5 points per game on 329 yards, I see an offensive shootout in our future.
I believe North Dakota State can defeat Arizona outright. Unfortunately, so do oddsmakers who opened North Dakota State a 1-point favorite. That is why I'm taking the over instead.
I grabbed the over at 54.5 and wouldn't bet it at anything higher than 55 (-125).