If you haven’t been following my FCS picks this season, you’ve been missing out. Through nine weeks I’m sitting at 17-12 against the number, and I had another profitable week last Saturday.
Both of my total plays cashed and Elon pulled off the outright upset as a 13-point underdog to Villanova. The lone loss was Western Carolina not being able to stay close to Furman.
2017 FCS ATS Record
Week 1 Picks: —
Week 2 Picks: 2-2 ATS
Week 3 Picks: 1-3 ATS
Week 4 Picks: 3-1 ATS
Week 5 Picks: 3-1 ATS
Week 6 Picks: 1-2 ATS
Week 7 Picks: 3-0 ATS
Week 8 Picks: 1-2 ATS
Week 9 Picks: 3-1 ATS
Richmond +6.5 at Villanova – I’m going against the Wildcats again because they are nowhere close to solving their problems in the secondary. Elon isn’t a great, or even good, passing team and was still able to find a ton of success through the air against Villanova last week. The Phoenix were averaging just 175 passing yards heading into their clash, but they doubled that and threw for 357 yards against the ‘Nova defense.
Now, the Wildcats have to face the best passing attack in the nation. Richmond is averaging 24 more passing yards per game than any other team in the FCS and has one of the best quarterbacks in Kyle Lauletta. His production has exploded under new head coach Russ Huesman as he has thrown for at least 290 yards against every defense he has faced.
Meanwhile, Villanova has looked lost on offense ever since Zach Bednarczyk was shelved for the season. Five other players have thrown at least one pass for the Wildcats since the injury, but the results have been terrible. They have combined to go 24-of-68 for 293 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. Richmond doesn’t have a great defense, but it will be able to load up against the run.
Over 55.5 in Samford at Mercer – Most SoCon games don’t have totals this high, but there is a lot of reason to believe this contest will be a shootout. Samford repeatedly shot itself in the foot against Chattanooga last week, but it still ended up finding the end zone three times. The Bulldogs turned the ball over seven times, which led to a stunning defeat, but the offense was able to move the ball with ease against the Mocs defense.
Conversely, the Bulldogs have had a hard time stopping good offenses this season. They were only able to limit Wofford because the Terriers are an option team that fumbled the ball seven times when they played, but they still got lit up on the ground.
Mercer has had a week of rest and will come up with a game plan that will expose the weaknesses in this defense.
Montana +5.5 vs. Northern Arizona – Everyone is falling all over themselves to praise Northern Arizona, but we haven’t seen the Lumberjacks beat a decent Big Sky team yet. They have made the most of a weak schedule, while the Grizzlies’ three losses have come against Washington, Eastern Washington and Weber State.
Montana has a passing attack that is going to be able to have its way with this secondary. Northern Arizona’s defensive backs have not been properly exposed, but they will be by Montana in this one. The Grizzlies have scored at least 40 points in each of their home games, and they know how to win a shootout. This is my best bet of the week.
Montana State -7.5 vs. Kennesaw State – This is a crazy road trip for the Owls, whose school is on the outskirts of Atlanta. They are going to have to travel over 2,000 miles for this one with the forecast calling for snow and temperatures in the teens. Kennesaw State knows this is a throwaway game and its real tests are home games against Charleston Southern and Monmouth the next two weeks. The Bobcats should cruise in weather they are comfortable playing in.
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