FCS spring football is here! Five ‘prime’ betting opportunities

Whoever had the audacity to swipe Deion Sanders’ belongings last weekend did a terrible thing. And, let’s be honest, a helpful thing.

Because if not for the temporary theft of Sanders’ watch and wallet (he got the items back a short time later), how many people would have even known that Coach Prime’s team was playing real games this spring?

Unfortunately Jackson State (1-0) won’t play this weekend because of a COVID-19 outbreak affecting opponent Mississippi Valley State.

But where there are football games, there are point spreads. PointsBet is offering odds on 24 FCS games this weekend, many of which will appear on ESPN+ or ESPN3, including all those listed below.

Hey it’s like Spring MACtion, but Friday-Sunday.

Here are five intriguing betting opportunities.

North Dakota State moneyline (-800) at Southern Illinois: Normally we wouldn’t consider laying $800 to make a $100 profit, but North Dakota State is no ordinary team. The Bison have won 39 straight games, the third longest Division I streak following Washington (40, from 1908-14) and Oklahoma (47, from 1953-57). If you want to be a rebel, the Salukis are +550 to win and 16.5-point underdogs despite the over-under of just 44.5.

Youngstown State +6.5 vs. Northern Iowa: Youngstown has a rich history (Jim Tressel was at the helm for four national titles in the ‘90s) and a cool stadium nickname: “The Ice Castle,” home to the Penguins. But coach Bo Pelini had a losing conference record from 2015-19, and the Penguins fell to North Dakota State 25-7 in the opener. They’re catching nearly a touchdown at home against a Northern Iowa team that lost a close one to South Dakota State in its opener.

Missouri State (-5) at Western Illinois: Speaking of great nicknames, players at the school in Macomb, Ill., answer to the Leathernecks. (It’s an homage to a slang term for members of the United States Marine Corps.) Western Illinois added an intriguing transfer in the fall: running back JaTarvious Whitlow, who led Auburn in rushing in both 2018 and 2019.

Pointsbetting McNeese State game points (over 35): The school of 7,000 undergrads in Lake Charles, La., drew attention for its season-opening victory over Tarleton. Why? Because Cody Orgeron scored the game-winning touchdown in double overtime. The son of LSU coach Ed Orgeron, Cody leads his Cowboys on Saturday against Incarnate Word. McNeese is an 11.5-point favorite, and its pointsbetting over is 35. Pointsbetting works as a multiplier. If you bet $10 and McNeese scores 45 points, you win $100.

SE Louisiana-Sam Houston State (total 54): I’m closing with this game for no other reason than that it’s alone in the 7 p.m. ET time slot and available on ESPN+. And, yes, it’s football. So take the over or under because you (and I) have no clue about any of the players.

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