North Dakota State vs. Montana State Odds: Bison Given 74% Chance to Win FCS Championship Game

North Dakota State vs. Montana State odds and betting preview for Saturday's FCS Championship Game. Oddsmakers give Bison a 74% chance to hoist the championship for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons.
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North Dakota State vs. Montana State Odds: Bison Given 74% Chance to Win FCS Championship Game

While the great debate on what to do with the current four-team FBS College Football Playoff rages on, the culmination of a true postseason football bracket is set to take place this Saturday. After navigating through the entire FCS football playoffs and earning home wins over their respective semifinal opponents, the Montana State Bobcats and North Dakota State Bison are set to collide for the national championship. 

These two programs are no strangers to one another. In fact, they faced off head-to-head in the FCS Playoffs in both 2018 and ‘19. However, neither of those games came on a neutral field with a title at stake. Nonetheless, the college football betting odds are predicting a similar result to those previous years in Saturday’s championship game.

North Dakota State vs. Montana State FCS Championship Game Odds and Information

FCS National Championship Game Montana State Bobcats (12-2, 7-1 Big Sky) vs. North Dakota State Bison (13-1, 7-1 Missouri Valley) Date: Saturday, January 8, 2021 Start Time: 12 PM EST Location: Toyota Stadium — Frisco, TX TV Coverage: ESPN2

Click here for North Dakota State vs. Montana State odds

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Montana State Bobcats Preview

After earning a bye through to the Second Round of the FCS Playoffs, Montana State had little trouble in knocking off UT Martin. The Quarterfinals were where the Bobcats pulled off a shocking upset. Not only did MSU knock off top-seeded Sam Houston State on the road, but they throttled the defending FCS national champs, 42-19. The Bobcats then rode a monster performance by quarterback Tommy Mellott to a semifinal win as home underdogs over South Dakota State to punch their ticket to Frisco.

In Mellott, Montana State has a true dual-threat quarterback that is capable of giving opposing defenses fits. He certainly did just that against SDSU. Mellott complemented his 233 passing yards with another 155 on the ground on a whopping 34 rushing attempts. He accounted for four total touchdowns in the win. The crazy thing is that Mellott wasn’t even the starting quarterback during the regular season. However, with Matthew McKay entering the transfer portal following the Second Round win over UT Martin, this is Mellott’s team from here on out. He does have two solid weapons in 1,000-yard rusher Isaiah Ifanse and 1,000-yard receiver Lance McCutcheon.

Strong defense has also been a key to the Bobcats’ season and run through the FCS Playoffs. None of their three playoff opponents to date have cracked the 20-point threshold. Throw in the entire regular season and only one team managed to score more than 20 points on the Bobcats. That came in MSU’s only loss to an FCS opponent all year, a 29-10 defeat at the hands of rival Montana. The Bobcats even held FBS foe Wyoming to 19 points in a narrow three-point defeat on the road.

North Dakota State Bison Preview

When it comes to the FCS National Championship picture, North Dakota State has been in the mix every year for the past decade. The Bison will be trying to win their ninth title in the last 11 seasons on Saturday. The college football betting odds have installed NDSU as a full touchdown favorite after they successfully navigated through the FCS Playoff bracket yet again. After a First Round bye, the Bison crushed both Southern Illinois and ETSU in the Second Round and Quarterfinals respectively. Things got hairy in the Semifinals against James Madison, but NDSU overcame a one-point deficit through three quarters to secure the victory.

A bruising rushing attack serves as the heart and soul of North Dakota State’s offense. While TaMerick Williams leads the Bison in rushing attempts and yards on the season, fellow RB Kamal Johnson, fullback NHunter Luepke and dual-threat QB Quincy Patterson have all been heavily involved. All four have accumulated over 450 rushing yards on the season. Cam Miller serves as the team’s prototypical passing quarterback. He threw a pair of TD passes in the Bison’s semifinal win over JMU.

Like Montana State, the Bison have also been incredibly stingy on defense this season. It’s no surprise that the college football betting odds list the over/under for this matchup in the low 40’s considering the defensive accolades of both teams. Only three opponents hit the 20-point threshold against North Dakota State this season. Among them was the same Souther Dakota State squad whom MSU defeated in the Semifinal Round of the FCS Playoffs. The Jackrabbits are the only team that claims a win over the Bison to date this season. 

North Dakota State vs. Montana State Odds

The following table displays the best Montana State vs. North Dakota State FCS Championship Game college football betting odds available in the market.

TeamMoneylineML Implied ProbabilitySpreadTotal
Montana State+26027.8%+7 (-105)O 42 (-104)
North Dakota State-28574%-7 (-105)U 42 (-110)

Given the incredible pedigree and success of North Dakota State football over the past decade, it’s fitting to see them listed as heavy favorites for the FCS Championship Game. While Montana State certainly was impressive in upsetting both Sam Houston State and South Dakota State, the Bobcats now must defy the college football betting odds a third time if they hope to win the first FCS championship in school history.

North Dakota State leads the all-time series between these two schools 3-1. The Bison dominated MSU in both 2018 and 2019, winning by scores of 52-10 and 42-14 respectively. Both games were played on NDSU’s home field in Fargo. Montana State’s only win in the head-to-head series came all the way back in 2005. The Bobcats squeaked out a 20-17 home win in Bozeman.

Current moneyline odds for Saturday’s FCS Championship give the Bison a 74% chance to win the game outright. Below is a breakdown of which sportsbooks are currently offering the best odds on each of the major game wagers to help bettors obtain the best value on their college football picks.

Moneyline Odds

Montana State (+260) — BetMGM North Dakota State (-285) — FanDuel

Point Spread Odds

Montana State +7 (-105) — DraftKings North Dakota State -7 (-105) — FOX Bet

Total Odds

Over 42 (-104) — Unibet Under 42 (-110) — Caesars

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Henry has had a passion for sports that few can match for as long as he can remember. What started out as a five-year-old taking interest in the New York Jets and their green jerseys has since become a full-fledged career as a writer and sports betting analyst. His coverage primarily includes the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, college football, and college basketball. In 2020, he ranked among the top-10 most accurate experts ATS in the BettingPros NFL season contest. You can follow Henry’s sports work on Twitter and other social media platforms @HankTimeSports.

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