With Week 2 of the 2021 FCS season in the books, it’s on to Week 3 as there’s plenty of storylines to go around. For starters, the rich got richer as Top 5 mainstays North Dakota State and James Madison secured wins to remain at #1 and #2, respectively.
In the Southwestern Athletic Conference, this season’s media darling team Jackson State, led by NFL-great Deion Sanders, handled business all be it over NAIA program Edward Waters. However, that wasn’t the only headline out of Jackson.
Let’s take a closer look at where the action is headed in Week 3.
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
Mississippi Valley State vs. Jackson State (-11.5, O/U 50.5)
With this being their first game of the season, having not stepped on a football field since November 2019, I expect the Mississippi Valley State Devils to come into this one with a fair amount of rust. Ranking dead last in points and yards in 2019, the Delta Devils have nowhere to go but up, but the ceiling is still low given the talent they’ve accrued since.
Their opponent in this one, Jackson State, has a week of play under their belt, even if it was basically a scrimmage. Freshman quarterback Jalon Jones threw for 187 yards and three touchdowns, in addition to running for another one.
Facing a defense that gave up an average of 33 points per game over their last three, I like Jackson State to have another stellar day and take “Coach Prime” to an easy 2-0.
Pick: Jackson State -11.5
Eastern Washington vs. Idaho (+4.5, O/U 62.5)
In the first weekend of play in the Big Sky, the Eastern Washington Eagles will head to Moscow, Idaho, to take on the Idaho Vandals.
Ranked #12 in the country heading into the spring, the Eagles will look to continue a strong finish to the 2019 season, where they went 4-0 down the stretch while averaging 52 points per game. Senior quarterback Eric Barriere returns to run the high octane offense, which often has to just keep up with the points allowed by their mostly putrid defense.
For the Vandals, their front seven should dominate both offensive lines and the headlines this season, as all of their starters return. Preseason All-Big Sky linebackers Tre Walker and Christian Elliss lead the way for what will be a stout Vandal’s defense.
In what’s likely an inflated number given Eastern Washington’s ability to put up points, I like for both teams to start slow in this one. As we saw last week, the 400+ days between games has made for a rusty brand of football across the league, and I expect to see that here as well.
Pick: Under 62.5
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