Tuesday, January 25, 2022

2022 FCS National Championship prediction, odds: North Dakota State vs. Montana State picks from top expert

A pair of FCS heavyweights meet when the seventh-ranked Montana State Bobcats battle the third-ranked North Dakota State Bison in the 2022 FCS National Championship Game on Saturday. The Bobcats (12-2), who placed second in the Big Sky Conference at 7-1, are making their first championship game appearance since winning the title in 1984. The Bison (13-1), winners of the Missouri Valley Conference at 7-1, have won five straight. North Dakota State is looking to win its ninth national title since 2011.

Kickoff from the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, is set for noon ET. This will be the 37th all-time meeting between the schools, with Montana State holding a 21-15 edge in the series. The Bison are 7.5-point favorites in the latest Montana State vs. North Dakota State odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 42.

Before locking in any North Dakota State vs. Montana State picks or FCS title game predictions, you’ll want to see the betting advice from SportsLine’s Emory Hunt.

Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007, and a former running back at Louisiana-Lafayette. He knows the game from a player’s perspective.

Hunt has had plenty of success this season, going 26-15 on FCS best bets this season. Hunt has also gone 178-149 on his college football picks over the past two seasons, returning $1,477 to $100 players. Anybody who has been following him is way up.

Now, he has set his sights on North Dakota State vs. Montana State in the FCS National Championship game 2022. You can head to SportsLine to see his picks. Here are several college football odds and trends for Montana State vs. North Dakota State:

  • Montana State vs. North Dakota State spread: North Dakota State -7.5
  • Montana State vs. North Dakota State over-under: 42 points
  • Montana State vs. North Dakota State money line: Montana State +250, North Dakota State -320
  • MS: Since 2002, the Bobcats have earned 10 playoff bids, earning nine wins
  • NDS: The Bison are 36-4 under third-year coach Matt Entz

Featured Game | North Dakota State Bison vs. Montana State Bobcats

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Why North Dakota State can cover 

The Bison chew up a lot of time and grind down their opponents, averaging 33.8 points per game. North Dakota State averages 32 minutes, 11 seconds in time of possession and is third in the nation in rushing, averaging 273.6 yards per game. Junior running backs TaMerik Williams, Kobe Johnson and Hunter Luepke power the running game. Williams leads the team with 114 carries for 715 yards (6.3 average) and 12 touchdowns. He rushed 15 times for 91 yards and two scores in the Bison’s 27-3 quarterfinal win over East Tennessee State.

Johnson has also been a workhorse, carrying 101 times for 565 yards (5.6 average) and two touchdowns, while Luepke has 73 carries for 461 yards (6.3 average) and five touchdowns. In the semifinal victory over James Madison, Luepke led the ground attack with 19 carries for 110 yards (5.8 average), including a 37-yard run. Luepke also led the team in receiving with three catches for 89 yards and two TDs. His 32-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter opened the scoring and his 22-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as North Dakota State rallied for the 20-14 win.

Why Montana State can cover

Despite that, the Bison are not a lock to cover the Montana State vs. North Dakota State spread. That’s because the Bobcats also have had a lot of success running the ball. Montana State is averaging 225.5 yards per game on the ground, led by junior running back Isaiah Ifanse. In 13 games this season, Ifanse has carried 262 times for 1,539 yards (5.9 average) and 10 touchdowns. He is averaging 118.4 yards per game. Ifanse can catch the ball out of the backfield as well and has 13 receptions for 105 yards (8.1 average) and one score.

Freshman quarterback Tommy Mellott is a dual threat for the Bobcats. He took over the starting duties 12 games into the season and has been the spark the team has needed. In the semifinal win over South Dakota State, Mellott rushed 34 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns, and threw for another two scores in the 35-17 victory. He completed 10 of his 15 passes for 233 yards. For the season, he has carried 110 times for 705 yards and 10 touchdowns, while completing 26 of 50 passes for 461 yards and four TDs.

How to make North Dakota State vs. Montana State picks

Hunt is leaning over on the total, and he’s also found a critical x-factor that has him jumping on one side of the spread. You can only see the pick here.

So who will win North Dakota State vs. Montana State in the 2022 FCS title game? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to back, all from the expert who has nailed his FCS picks. 

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