Best FCS Picks for Week 3

Last week, I lost juice after splitting my four picks. I was spot on in my two Big Sky vs. Missouri Valley selections, nailing Montana State to cover against South Dakota State and North Dakota to romp over Missouri State. However, I was horribly off when it came to southern FCS games, missing badly on the over in Grambling-Northwestern State and not coming close with my pick of Presbyterian to hang tough against The Citadel.

Let’s get back on track with this week’s picks.

2017 FCS ATS Record
Week 1 Picks: —
Week 2 Picks: 2-2 ATS

Central Connecticut State +35 at Youngstown State – The Blue Devils aren’t as bad as they have been recently. They gave Fordham all it could handle last week, almost knocking off the Rams, and they shouldn’t be this large of an underdog. Youngstown State will be starting backup quarterback Nathan Mays, as Hunter Wells has a slightly separated throwing shoulder, and it isn’t a team that blows opponents out.

The Penguins only beat one team by more than 35 points last season, Missouri State, and that was a message to the playoff committee in order to solidify a postseason bid. Last week, they only beat a bad Robert Morris team 30-0, and the goal in this game will be to get a victory and prevent injuries from piling up. Youngstown State will win handily but won’t cover the spread.

Florida A&M +14 vs. Tennessee State – The Tigers are only this much of a favorite because they knocked off an FBS team in their opener. But Tennessee State has really struggled on the offensive end this season. Although many believed that Treon Harris would be more successful as a passer at the FCS level, he has completed just 40.5 percent of his passes over his first two games with the Tigers.

Harris is still a dynamic runner, but teams have zeroed in on stopping Tennessee State’s ground game, and that has limited this offense.

Florida A&M actually did a relatively decent job against Arkansas’ running game two weeks ago. The Rattlers are undersized up front, and I expected the Razorbacks to mash them, but they managed only 5.2 yards per carry. FAMU has had over two weeks of rest since that game and has had more time to prepare for Tennessee State than vice versa. Don’t be surprised to see FAMU pull off the upset in Tampa.

Weber State -10 at Sacramento State – If you go back through the archives this offseason, you can see that I love this Weber State team. The Wildcats should’ve beat California last week. They were up on the Golden Bears at halftime 20-17, but turnovers and an inability to convert on third down killed their chances at an upset. Weber State had three fumbles and turned the ball over on downs three times, which mitigated its 571 total yards of offense.

The Hornets went 2-9 last season and did not look good against Idaho in their season opener. They managed just 190 total yards of offense against the Vandals and could only muster eight first downs on the night. They looked much better last week in a rout of Incarnate Word, but that is a school that only recently came up from Division II.

Chattanooga -4.5 vs. UT Martin – The Mocs are 0-2 and many people are counting them out under new head coach Tom Arth. However, this Moccasins team has played one of the best defenses in the FCS and one of the best defenses in the FBS, so it’s no wonder why the offense has struggled.

Former Mississippi State quarterback Nick Tiano has already thrown four interceptions this season, but he should find things much easier against UT Martin. The Skyhawks allowed Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson to throw for a school-record 489 yards against them last week, and Tiano should have by far his best outing yet.

Conversely, UT Martin will have a hard time running against Chattanooga. The Mocs run defense was good the last two weeks despite taking a pounding from Jacksonville State and LSU. UT Martin only had success running against Ole Miss because of a lackluster defensive performance from the Rebels, but the Mocs will be focused.

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