- Week 5 of the FCS Spring football season kicks off on March 13th
- No. 7 Nicholls State looks to keep things rolling against No. 12 Sam Houston State as a road dog, but visiting teams in other games look good as favorites
- Read below for a look at three top matchups with updated odds and picks
The spring FCS football season is chugging along into Week 5, but several teams are still just getting started. Eleven games on the week’s schedule opened with a spread of a touchdown or less, and several of them appear to offer good opportunity for bettors to take advantage.
Sam Houston will try to hold things down at home against Nicholls State in a matchup that should light up the scoreboard. Prairie View A&M is going for its second consecutive win in a neutral site game against Grambling State, and Tarleton State has a chance for revenge against Dixie State.
Now, for a look at the Week 5 picks.
Nicholls State vs Sam Houston Odds
|Nicholls State||+2.5 (-112)||+110||O 60.5 (-108)|
|Sam Houston State||-2.5 (-110)||-134||U 60.5 (-112)|
All odds taken from FanDuel on March 10th
Offense Rules with Colonels and Bearkats
Both Nicholls State and Sam Houston started their season shot out of a cannon.
The Colonels opened their spring season by scoring 87 points against Lincoln University of Missouri. After three games played so far this season, Nicholls is averaging more than 553 yards on offense per game. In last week’s 31-24 win against Northwestern State, Julien Gums ran the ball 36 times for 156 yards and a touchdown.
????: @DylanMiFe#geauxcolonels #GAme_oN pic.twitter.com/qODNMcO5jo
— No. 7 Nicholls Football ???? (@Nicholls_FB) March 7, 2021
Sam Houston opened its season with a win against Southeastern Louisiana, and redshirt junior quarterback Eric Schmid blew the game over with 428 yards and two touchdowns. The Bearkats defense gave up 536 yards, but the offense put up 672 and averaged 9.5 yards per play.
This week could be a very different story for Sam Houston, as Nicholls’ defense has been one of the best in the country. Through three games, the Colonels have only allowed an average of 163 yards per game, and have held opposing quarterbacks to the lowest yards per pass attempt average in the nation. The Bearkats managed to put the clamps on Southeastern ground game last week, but gave up 462 yards through the air.
Sam Houston QB Eric Schmid discusses the Bearkats’ 672-yard offensive explosion. pic.twitter.com/eHzDMTjRMa
— Josh Criswell (@Item_Criswell) February 28, 2021
Among programs that have played three games or fewer, Nicholls’ Lindsey Scott is the fourth-best passer, nationally. The senior quarterback has throw for 684 yards, eight touchdown and has just one interception this season. Historically, Sam Houston has gotten the better of this rivalry, but the Colonels are rolling, and should be ready to win this one by at least a field goal.
- The Pick: Nicholls State +2.5 (-112)
Grambling State vs Prairie View A&M Odds
|Grambling State||-2.5 (-110)||-138||O 55.5 (-110)|
|Prairie View A&M||+2.5 (+102)||+112||U 55.5 (-110)|
Hickbottom Could be Biggest Difference in Arlington
Grambling State is looking to shake off the sting of being the second team to fall to Deion Sanders’ Jackson State when they return to action against Prairie View A&M on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers are hoping the ghost of Sanders will haunt Grambling during their neutral site game at Globe Life Park, right down the street from the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium. The two teams were originally scheduled to open the season at the Cotton Bowl, but after the winter storm that ravaged Texas, significant repairs and a change of venue were needed.
COACH PRIME IS HYPED‼️
Jackson State hands Grambling State their first home loss since 2015. pic.twitter.com/uKVIlg4Bpy
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 6, 2021
The Tigers defense gave up 289 yards rushing in its loss to Jackson State, but should be able to turn things around against the Panthers, who could only muster 2.9 yards per carry on the ground last week against Texas Southern. Even in a loss, Grambling ran the ball 46 times for 182 yards, but most of those came from senior quarterback Geremy Hickbottom, who had 81 yards on 16 carries.
Redshirt freshman running back CJ Russell was the next leading rusher for the Tigers, with 51 yards on 11 carries.
Hickbottom also completed 75% of his passes last week, and Prairie View allowed completions at the same clip last week to a Texas Southern program with less offensive firepower. If Hickbottom comes back with a similar performance to what he had last week, Grambling should leave Arlington with its first win this season.
- The Pick: Grambling State -2.5 (-110)
Tarleton State vs Dixie State Odds
|Tarleton State||-3.5 (-108)||-180||O 57.5 (-106)|
|Dixie State||+3.5 (-112)||+146||U 57.5 (-114)|
Texans Out for Revenge Against Trailblazers
Dixie State has had one of the most prolific passing offenses in FCS play this season, and redshirt junior quarterback Kody Wilstead has thrown for 723 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions through two games. The 6-7, 230-pound QB has also punched in a couple of rushing touchdowns in the red zone as well, and his continued strong play will be key for the Blazers to repeat.
Conversely, Tarleton State has run the ball very well this season, and Dixie State’s rush defense has been atrocious. In their last meeting, Texans running back Ryheem Skinner gashed Dixie for 197 yards on 31 carries. Last week against New Mexico State, the Aggies ran up 329 yards on the ground as a team against the Blazers.
The Texans have had an unsettled quarterback situation, and have been giving snaps to both Steven Duncan and Cameron Burston, but they’ve found reasonable success playing both outside of their last meeting with Dixie State.
Turnovers can be flukey, and the Blazers didn’t force any in its only other game this season against New Mexico State. The Texans have all the motivation to take one back against Dixie State this week on their home turf after not showing up in the first meeting. On the heels of a 39-14 drubbing of Mississippi College on March 6, Tarleton has revenge on its mind and momentum from a big win. The Texans should be able to run the ball down Dixie’s throat and make it out with the win.
- The Pick: Tarleton State -3.5 (-108)