FCS College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions: 3 Bets for Yale vs. Penn & More
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images. Pictured: Whiskey barrels.
- Three FCS games on Saturday's slate have good betting value.
- That's why Keg is diving into each game below.
- So if you're looking to search the bottom of the barrel, you've come to the right place.
It doesn't get much better than a No. 1 vs No. 2 showdown like we saw last week as South Dakota State took down North Dakota State.
But yet again, there are some serious big-time matchups on this week's FCS Slate.
FCS College Football Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Yale vs. Penn
Our first matchup of the Saturday slate will be the second of the weekend to break up a packed house atop the Ivy League.
Penn, which sits at 5-0 this season, will face off against Yale, which is 4-1 so far. Both teams are 2-0 in conference matchups, tied with Havard and Princeton entering the week.
Yale has won the last four meetings between the two teams, but more importantly, it was the best rushing offense in the Ivy League. Penn, however, ranks third in the conference at stopping the run, giving up just 65 rush yards per contest.
The Bulldogs are also third when it comes to passing yards on the season, putting up 252.4 passing yards per game. And much like their ability to stop Yale’s run game, the Quakers’ passing defense is the best in the Ivy League, giving up just 200.4 rush yards per game.
Both teams match up well on the defensive sides, and it should be interesting to see which side can pull ahead and establish itself as the better team. I expect Penn to be that team, as the Yale passing defense hasn't been challenged like Penn’s rush defense has.
Penn is also the best team in the Ivy league when it comes to red-zone offense, scoring on 95.5% of trips. The next closest team is Harvard at just 88.9%.
Lines are not out yet, but I would back the Quakers here as high as a 6.5-point favorite.
Pick: Penn -6.5 or Better
Mercer vs. Chattanooga
The No. 11 Mercer Bears look to break into the top 10 as they travel to take on the No. 10 Chattanooga Mocs.
The Bears have one of the best quarterbacks in the SoCon in Fred Payton and lead the league at 4-0 so far in conference play. They also lead the conference in scoring offense, averaging 41 points per contest.
But they’ll face their toughest challenge of the season so far. Chattanooga leads the conference in scoring defense, giving up just 15.7 points per contest.
The Mocs are also the fourth-best team in the conference regarding time of possession, something I expect them to lean into with the best rusher in the conference, Ailym Ford, who’s averaging over 115 yards per game.
Chattanooga also comes in as one of the best teams in all of the FCS at limiting mistakes. The Mocs also get called for the third-fewest penalties, averaging just 3.67 per game.
Back the Mocs to get it done at home as high as a 3-point favorite over the Bears.
Pick: Mercer -3 or Better
Weber State vs. Montana State
Two top-10 teams will square off on Saturday afternoon as they battle for position atop the Big Sky standings.
Montana State leads the conference at 4-0 but is 6-1 on the season after suffering a loss to Oregon State. The No. 3 Bobcats will play host to fifth-ranked Weber State, which is 3-0 in conference and undefeated on the season at 6-0.
Their conference winning streaks aren't the only streaks in play either. Weber State is currently tied with the longest active FCS road win streak at eight games, while the Bobcats’ 16-game home win streak is also the longest active streak.
Only one streak can stay intact, and I think it's going to be that of the Bobcats.
Weber State ranks second in the FCS, allowing just 11 points per contest. But the Bobcats are one of the best offensive teams in the conference, putting up 40.6 points per game. Their defense is solid in its own right giving up just 25.3 points per contest.
Montana State was my favorite to win the Big Sky this year. This team is considerably better than the Wildcats from a talent perspective, and it’s played its best ball at home.
Back the Bobcats as high as a 7-point favorite to continue their streak in search of the Big Sky title.