FCS Playoffs Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need to Bet Saturday’s College Football Games (April 24)

FCS Playoffs Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need to Bet Saturday’s College Football Games (April 24) article feature image
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Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The North Dakota State Bison.

Looking to bet Saturday’s FCS Playoffs games but don’t know where to begin?

Our college football staff has worked hard to bring you comprehensive analysis for the spring playoffs, including wall-to-wall coverage of Saturday’s epic slate of games. So, we’ve taken a page from the fall college football season to compile a straightforward betting cheat sheet to help you find exactly what you’re looking for today.

Single-game betting guides, expert picks, full-game analysis, odds — we’ve got you covered with all of the above. Below, you’ll find everything you need to bet Saturday’s college football slate.


Darin Gardner’s Full Overview & Favorite Bets

Darin Gardner has it all when it comes to FCS football.

Whether it’s important advanced stats that will define all eight matchups or straight-up picks, he has you covered starting at 12 p.m. ET and rolling through the nightcap at 7 p.m. ET.

Check out breakdowns for every game, along with his five favorite picks, below.

Darin Gardner’s FCS Playoffs Best Bets

Our Bettor’s Suite of Saturday Game Guides

Click on a matchup below for game odds, advanced team stats & in-depth betting analysis.


#2 Sam Houston State vs. Monmouth

Click here for Game Odds, Team Stats & Betting Analysis
Sam Houston vs. Monmouth

Odds & Game Details
Sam Houston Odds -9.5
Monmouth Odds +9.5
Moneyline -340 / +280
Over/Under 60.5
Time Saturday, Noon ET
TV ESPN3

Matchup Matrix

Betting Analysis

by Darin Gardner

The FCS Playoffs get underway with two of the most potent offenses of the spring season. Sam Houston (6-0) enters the game as the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will be facing an undefeated opponent in Monmouth (3-0).

Both teams have won often, and it has come in convincing fashion.

Sam Houston’s average margin of victory is 27.3 points per game, and Monmouth has outscored its opponents by an average of 24 points in its three games thus far. Both teams rank in the top-four in net yards per play as well, which is the offense’s yards per play subtracted by yards per play allowed on defense.

This will be a big test for two teams that have looked dominant throughout the season. If the offenses are able to sustain their elite level of play, we should be in for an exciting tournament opener.

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Read the rest of Darin Gardner’s analysis, including his betting pick here.

#3 James Madison vs. VMI

Click here for Game Odds, Team Stats & Betting Analysis
James Madison vs. VMI

Odds & Game Details
James Madison Odds -14.5
VMI Odds +14.5
Moneyline -670 / +420
Over/Under 45.5
Time Saturday, 2 p.m. ET
TV ESPN3

Matchup Matrix

Betting Analysis

by Kyle Remillard

The VMI Keydets will travel less than an hour to make their FCS playoff debut Saturday when they square off against the James Madison Dukes in the first round.

The Keydets have been making program history all year, which includes their first winning season since 1981. The Virginia Military Institution is 6-1 and secured its first Southern Conference title since 1977. The Keydets defeated Furman for the first time in 27 years, plus they experienced their first-ever victories on the road over Western Carolina and Samford.

VMI hopes to have some magic left in this Cinderella season as it matches up against one of the top FCS programs in recent years in James Madison.

The Dukes have been a powerhouse within the FCS, finishing this season with a 5-0 record and boasting a combined 56-8 record over the last five years. James Madison has made it to the FCS Championship in three of the last four years, including a win during the 2016 campaign.

This season, the Dukes have leaned on their dominant defense and rushing attack to keep them unbeaten. However, they will be tested by the Keydets’ pass-heavy offense.

Most VMI players only wish for the opportunity to be recruited by the James Madison staff, with this in-state battle being a classic matchup of big brother versus little brother.

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Read the rest of Kyle Remillard’s analysis, including his betting pick here.

#4 Jacksonville State vs. Davidson

Click here for Game Odds, Team Stats & Betting Analysis
Jacksonville State vs. Davidson

Odds & Game Details
Jacksonville State Odds -21.5
Davidson Odds +21.5
Moneyline -2500 / +1050
Over/Under 42.5
Time Saturday, 2 p.m. ET
TV ESPN3

Matchup Matrix

Betting Analysis

by Mike Calabrese

The Pioneer Football League is one of the most unique in all of college football. It features league members spanning from New York to California. But for all of its geographic diversity, the PFL is just 2-7 in the FCS playoffs all-time, regularly struggling to move the football against faster and stronger competition.

Saturday afternoon’s matchup between 2021 PFL champion Davidson and Jacksonville State sets up the familiar narrative of an underdog punching above its weight. The Fightin’ Steph Currys are making their first playoff appearance in school history and enter as the 236th-ranked team in college football, according to the Sagarin Rankings. That makes them the worst playoff entrant by a country mile.

Jacksonville State, meanwhile, is making its 10th playoff appearance in school history. The Gamecocks have one of the most athletic defenses in the nation and have smothered opposing rushing attacks this spring. The defensive end duo of DJ Coleman and Jaylen Swain has combined for 21.5 TFLs, three fumble recoveries, and a blocked kick in just 11 games this season. It’s this constant edge pressure that is going to give Davidson major issues on Saturday.

Is it possible for the Wildcats to move the football and hang around long enough to make this three-touchdown point spread attractive? Let’s find out.

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Read the rest of Mike Calabrese’s analysis, including his betting pick here.

North Dakota State vs. Eastern Washington

Click here for Game Odds, Team Stats & Betting Analysis
North Dakota State vs. Eastern Washington

Odds & Game Details
North Dakota State Odds -7.5 (-105)
Eastern Washington Odds +7.5 (-117)
Moneyline -278 / +210
Over/Under 54.5
Time Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN3

Matchup Matrix

Betting Analysis

by Collin Wilson

Once upon a time, there was no pandemic to delay the start of the FCS football season.

At the conclusion of the 2018 season, there would have been heavy sentiment that North Dakota State and Eastern Washington have the potential to play for the national championship every season. Because of a delayed fall and a short spring, we are now faced with two unseeded teams squaring off in the first round.

These two teams have had spectacular games in the past decade, from the 2010 playoff quarterfinal thriller in overtime to the most recent 2018 National Championship game. With a projected path that runs through Sam Houston and James Madison, the road to the championship will not go past the Bison or Eagles.

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Read the rest of Collin Wilson’s analysis, including his betting pick here.

Weber State vs. Southern Illinois

Click here for Game Odds, Team Stats & Betting Analysis
Southern Illinois vs. Weber State

Odds & Game Details
Weber State Odds -4.5
Southern Illinois Odds +4.5
Moneyline -177 / +135
Over/Under 48
Time Saturday, 4 p.m. ET
TV ESPN3

Matchup Matrix

Betting Analysis

by BJ Cunningham

Southern Illinois heads to Ogden to battle undefeated Weber State in the first round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday.

Southern Illinois has had an interesting spring season in which it’s had highs of beating perennial powerhouse North Dakota State, 38-14, and lows of getting blown out by No. 1 seed South Dakota State, 44-3, at home. The Salukis needed a win over Southeastern Louisiana in their final game to get into the playoffs, so we’ll see if that positive momentum carries over into the first round.

Weber State finished the regular season 5-0 but didn’t really face any steep competition. However, the Wildcats are lucky to be undefeated after a crazy hail mary to beat Northern Arizona.

Either way, the Wildcats got the job done. But now, we’ll see how they fare when they face stiffer competition in the playoffs.

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Read the rest of BJ Cunningham’s analysis, including his betting pick here.

Delaware vs. Sacred Heart

Click here for Game Odds, Team Stats & Betting Analysis
Sacred Heart vs. Delaware

Odds & Game Details
Delaware Odds -19.5
Sacred Heart Odds +19.5
Moneyline -1667 / +850
Over/Under 42.5
Time Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN3

Matchup Matrix

Betting Analysis

by Mike Ianniello

The Sacred Heart Pioneers (3-1), the Northeast Conference champions, will head to Delaware Stadium to face the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens (5-0), champions of the Colonial Athletic Association, on Saturday in the Round of 16.

Sacred Heart clinched its third FCS playoffs berth with a thrilling 34-27 overtime win over the Duquesne Dukes in the NEC Championship game last week.

Delaware won all five of its games in the spring season, outscoring its opponents, 164-58. The Fightin’ Blue Hens and James Madison each finished the season at 5-0, but Delaware was awarded its first CAA title since 2010 in a vote by the CAA Athletic Directors. The Blue Hens will be making their 17th FCS playoffs appearance. They won the National Championship in 2003.

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Read the rest of Mike Ianniello’s analysis, including his betting pick here.

Complete Odds & How to Watch

When there’s spring football, you have to take advantage.

With football remaining on the calendar for only four weeks, we broke down how to watch each week while providing odds for each of the eight first-round games.


How & Where To Bet On College Football

You can find reviews of the best online sportsbooks in your states, their latest promos and more in this hub.

Legal online sports betting is currently available in the following states:

ColoradoIndiana | Iowa | Michigan | New Hampshire | New Jersey |
Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Tennessee | Virginia | West Virginia


And here are some of the top online sportsbooks:

DraftKings | FanDuel | BetMGM | PointsBet | William Hill |
SugarHouse | BetRivers | bet365 | Parx |


Note: It is not currently legal to wager on amateur athletics in the following states with legal online betting available: New Jersey and Virginia.


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