College Football FCS Playoffs Betting Odds & Pick for Weber State vs. Southern Illinois
Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Meleke Tauteoli (57), John Abercrombie (83) and Jon Christensen (89).
- The FCS Playoffs continue on Saturday afternoon when the Weber State Wildcats face the Southern Illinois Salukis.
- The Salukis had a mixed bag of results this season, while the Wildcats put together an impressive season through the air.
- Check out BJ Cunningham's full betting preview complete with updated odds and a pick below.
Weber State vs. Southern Illinois Odds
|Weber State Odds||-4.5|
|Southern Illinois Odds||+4.5|
|Moneyline||-177 / +135|
|Time||Saturday, 4 p.m. ET|
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.
🚨 THE WILDCATS WIN ON A HAIL MARY AS TIME EXPIRES. 🚨
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) March 27, 2021
Either way, the Wildcats got the job done. But now, we’ll see how they fare when they face stiffer competition in the playoffs.
Weber State Wildcats
Weber State had a fantastic season on offense, especially through the air.
Freshman quarterback Bronson Barron threw for 8.48 yards per attempt and zero interceptions while also finding the end zone six times.
However, the offense wasn’t that explosive after its opening 49-point performance against Idaho State. The Wildcats averaged only 21.25 points in their final four games of the season, and Barron himself threw only two touchdowns in that span.
They’ll be going up against a pretty average secondary in Southern Illinois that allowed 7.39 yards per attempt during the regular season. However, Weber State only throws the ball on 38.34% of its plays so a lot of its success is going to come on the ground.
Weber State is going to have a fantastic matchup on the ground because it runs the ball over 60% of the time, averages 5.11 yards per carry, and will be going up against a weak Southern Illinois front that allowed 4.98 yards per carry. So, look for the Wildcats to pound the rock over and over again and control the clock.
Southern Illinois Salukis
Southern Illinois’ rollercoaster of a season was a mixed bag on both sides of the ball.
On offense, the Salukis have an incredibly efficient quarterback in Stone Labanowitz, who took over starting duties after the first three games of the spring season.
Since the Northern Iowa game on March 13, Labanowitz has thrown for 8.9 yards per attempt and a 78% completion percentage. In fact, in his last game against Southeastern Louisiana, he torched the defense for 328 yards and two touchdowns. However, he’ll be facing a very secondary that allowed only 5.52 yards per attempt through the air in five games this spring.
The run game for Southern Illinois was efficient but not against some of the better defenses it faced. It averaged 4.72 yards per attempt on the ground for the season, but against South Dakota State and Missouri State, it averaged only 3.34 yards per carry.
The Salukis will be facing a front seven that has shut down the run pretty efficiently, allowing only 3.8 yards per carry. That won’t bode well for an offense that runs the ball on almost 60% of its plays.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Even though Weber State hasn’t faced stiff competition so far this season, I still think it has a fantastic matchup against Southern Illinois at home.
The Wildcat rushing attack should be able to control the game against Southern Illinois’ front seven, so I am going to back them to cover the small spread of -4 and would play it up to -6.
Pick: Weber State -4 (up to -6).