South Dakota State vs North Dakota State Odds, Predictions | How to Bet the 2023 FCS Football Championship Game
Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: FCS Football National Championship trophy.
South Dakota State vs. North Dakota State Odds
|South Dakota State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|North Dakota State Odds|
-110o / -110u
After a long season with ups and downs, highs and lows, and a lot of underdog storylines, we have arrived at the FCS National Championship.
Unfortunately, those underdog chances fell short to my dismay. And now we’re left with the preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams meeting in the championship.
Even though the Bison are going for their 10th title in 12 years, both teams earned this, and they should put on a great matchup.
These two already met once this season, as South Dakota State knocked off the Bison in the Fargodome. That marked win No. 6 of the Jackrabbits’ 13-game win streak that’s still active today.
But it’s hard to beat a team twice.
These Jackrabbits have a chip on their shoulder, though, after losing in the 2021 spring season championship. That was their first trip to the title game, but will they win it all for the first time on Sunday?
The Bison are stacked, much like every other year.
But one thing that can’t be ignored is that starting quarterback Cam Miller is 0-3 in his career against South Dakota State. Are the Jackrabbits in his head? Likely. Do I think that means he can’t win this game? Absolutely not.
NDSU boasts the third-ranked rushing offense in FCS, but the Jackrabbits held it held to a season-low 127 yards in their first meeting. However, North Dakota State will be without its third-best rusher in fullback Hunter Luepke.
Its two top rushers — Kobe Johnson and TaMerik Williams — should still be able to find success, but injuries will certainly make things tougher against a team like South Dakota State.
On the defensive side of the ball, North Dakota State ranks 45th when it comes to rushing defense, giving up 147.9 yards per game. The Bison also sit fifth in passing defense, holding teams to just 168.9 yards per game.
This South Dakota State team is much more balanced offensively. And while it can throw the ball with efficiency, it’s been much better on the ground throughout the playoffs.
The biggest breakout has come from Isaiah Davis, who has put up four touchdowns and 416 yards through three playoff games.
The threat Davis brings on the ground keeps defenses honest, which has opened up deep passing opportunities for Jadon and Jaxon Janke and the tight end duo of Zach Heins and Tucker Kraft.
On defense, South Dakota State has already proven it can limit North Dakota State’s run game. The question is, how will the layoff before the championship game impact the Jackrabbits?
With nine championships over the last decade, North Dakota State coaches, staff, and some players are familiar with the process. They know how it works, and they know how to prepare for this championship game. While South Dakota State played in a spring season championship, it was still a much different schedule.
North Dakota State vs South Dakota State Prediction
The Jackrabbits have been a thorn in the Bison’s side. South Dakota State has won three matchups in a row over its northern neighbors, as well as five of the last nine.
However, all of those matchups came in the regular season.
Not once have the Jackrabbits toppled the Bison in the playoffs, much less the championship. This is what North Dakota State does. This is why it’s the most well-known FCS program in the country.
The Bison win championships.
Getting five points with the Bison here is too much to pass up, and I would back them down to +3.5 in this matchup. Even if they don’t win, I can’t imagine this game being more than a three-point difference.
Back the Bison to do what they do.