Florida A&M vs Jackson State Odds, Picks, Predictions: Sunday College Football Week 1 Betting Preview (Sept. 4)

Florida A&M vs Jackson State Odds, Picks, Predictions: Sunday College Football Week 1 Betting Preview (Sept. 4) article feature image

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Shedeur Sanders #2 of the Jackson State Tigers.

  • The Florida A&M Rattlers and Jackson State Tigers take center stage on Sunday afternoon when both FCS football teams meet in the Orange Blossom Classic at 3 pm ET.
  • Jackson State, led by head coach Deion Sanders, opened as 2.5-point favorites. However, since then, the point spread has moved substantially and now sits at Florida A&M -1.5.
  • College football betting analyst Doug Ziefel previews Sunday afternoon's Week 1 CFB matchup, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Florida A&M vs State.

Florida A&M vs Jackson State Odds

Sunday, Sept. 4
3 p.m. ET
Florida A&M Odds
-109o / -112u
Jackson State Odds
-109o / -112u
Odds via Parx. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The SWAC takes center stage as the conference's two top teams will open their conference schedules against one another in the Orange Blossom Classic yet again.

Last year, this matchup was the difference-maker, as neither team lost a conference game after their matchup; Jackson State was the eventual conference champion, and Florida A&M earned an at-large bid to the FCS Playoffs.

While this is a neutral-site game, expect both sides to be well represented. The Rattlers are seven hours away from Miami, but this game is meaningful to the people of Jackson, Mississippi, as well.

The state capital is currently having a water crisis, and head coach Deion Sanders spoke recently about how he aims to have his program inspire or at least provide relief to the people of Jackson.

So, with the implications of this game likely to impact the season and supporters of these programs, who's going to take this year's Orange Blossom Classic?

Florida A&M Rattlers

The Rattlers come into this matchup off an impressive offensive showing against North Carolina. Vanderbilt transfer quarterback Jeremy Moussa threw for 279 yards and touchdowns as he kept his squad in the game until the fourth quarter.

However, he may be in for a more challenging task against this Jackson State defense. The Tigers were dominant against the passing game last season as they held their opponents to an average completion percentage of just 48% and 157 yards.

This matchup will likely have a much different game script, and the Rattlers could opt to keep the ball on the ground more often — they ran the ball at a 51% clip last season.

Senior running back Terrell Jennings was relatively quiet in the opener as he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry. Although, he may play a much more significant role as they'll want to keep the Tigers offense off the field. However, his success may be limited once again as the Tigers held their opponents to just 2.8 yards per carry in 2021.

This total opened up very low at 41.5, and the Jackson State defense is a big reason behind it.

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Jackson State Tigers

Defense may be the name of this game, but the Rattlers are going to have their hands full with Shedeur Sanders.

The top-rated quarterback made waves when he committed to Jackson State, but he did not disappoint in his freshman season. He threw for 3,231 yards and threw 30 touchdown passes while completing 66% of his passes.

The Rattlers were very solid against the pass in conference play as they held their opponents to an average of just 185 yards per game. However, they allowed Drake Maye of North Carolina to complete 29 of his 37 attempts for 297 yards and five touchdowns.

Sanders had a fine performance in last year's matchup against Florida A&M as he went 18-for-24 for 221 yards. With a year of experience and a potentially weaker defense this time around, he could have a much bigger day through the air.

Florida A&M vs. Jackson State Betting Pick

For an FCS matchup, there is a lot surrounding this game, but it all favors Jackson State.

Perhaps the most significant edge the Tigers will have is the one week of tape and ability to scout this year's Rattlers team. They did not show much promise, and they will be facing a very talented quarterback again this week.

Also, the magnitude of this game for Jackson State gives it an intangible advantage. Sanders has been very outspoken this week about how much this game means to his program and the people of Jackson. So, expect them to play inspired and persevere as the underdog.

Pick: Jackson State ML +102

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