Samford quarterback Liam Welch (7) throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
- Week 7 of the FCS spring football season kicks off on Saturday, March 27th
- North Dakota aims to bounce back from its first loss of the season against Youngstown State
- Read below for the best ATS picks for Week 7 of the FCS spring season
We’re already heading into Week 7 of the FCS spring football season, and there’s some big games on tap for the weekend. The large slate on Saturday, March 27th features numerous matchups with enticing betting value.
North Dakota looks to bounce back from its first loss of the season against Youngstown State, while the Citadel searches for its first win of the year against Samford. Over in the SWAC, Alabama State is in a letdown spot against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Here are three ATS picks to consider for Week 7.
North Dakota vs Youngstown State Odds
|North Dakota||-12.5 (-109)||-455||O 42.5 (-117)|
|Youngstown State||+12.5 (-112)||+340||U 42.5 (-105)|
All odds taken Mar. 23rd from DraftKings
Penguins Keep It Close Against Fighting Hawks
Youngstown State will look to hand North Dakota a second consecutive loss when they welcome the Fighting Hawks to Stambaugh Stadium in Week 7. The Penguins have improved in each week and earned their first victory of the season with a dominant 28-10 victory over South Dakota last weekend.
The Fighting Hawks are coming off their first defeat of the season, which was a tough 34-13 loss at the hands of in-state rival North Dakota State. The Fightings Hawks were dominated in the trenches and gave up 190 rushing yards to NDSU 225-pound fullback Hunter Luepke.
The Most Hunter Luepke Touchdown Yet.
He’s still not down. pic.twitter.com/bQaULYvbfH
— NDSU Football (@NDSUfootball) March 20, 2021
Youngstown State has the talent at the running back position to take advantage of some vulnerabilities UND showed in Week 6. The Penguins racked up over 300 yards on the ground against the Coyotes, including 166 from Jaleel McLaughlin and 74 from dual-threat QB Mark Waid. Expect them to have another big performance against a North Dakota rush defense that has struggled defending the run.
YSU’s 1-4 record looks ugly, but they kept each loss respectful. The defense racked up five sacks last week and held the Coyotes to 12 yards rushing. They have some playmakers on defense, including LB Grant Dixon, who will force freshman QB Tommy Schuster into making mistakes. With the Penguins getting better each game, bet them to keep it close against a UND team that’s lost some of its mojo.
- Pick: Youngstown State +12.5 (-112)
Samford vs Citadel Odds
|Samford||-10.5 (-106)||-345||O 62.5 (-108)|
|Citadel||+10.5 (-115)||+265||U 62.5 (-113)|
Welch Leads Samford Past Citadel
The Citadel will be looking to pick up their first win of the season when they host Samford at Johnson Hagood Stadium on Saturday, March 27th. Brent Thompson’s team has gone winless against Mercer, Chattanooga, WCU and East Tennessee State and are dealing with player suspensions due to a violation of NCAA rules at the campus bookstore.
Samford has one of the most explosive offenses in the league and are coming off a heartbreaking 38-37 overtime loss to VMI in Week 6. The Bulldogs racked up 633 yards of offense in the defeat, including a Southern Conference single-game passing record of 570 yards by quarterback Liam Welch.
— Southern Conference (@SoConSports) March 21, 2021
Samford’s passing attack is reason to back them to win by at least two TDs on Saturday. The Citadel haven’t had an answer for QBs with strong arms such as Carter Peevy and Drayton Arnold, and now they have to face the conference’s passing yards leader. One of the reasons the Bulldogs have been so hard to defend is because the team is loaded at receiver with 12 different players having caught passes this season.
The Citadel will score in this game on the strength of their elite rushing attack, but they’re prone to making mistakes and haven’t been able to come up with the big plays. The Citadel have already committed 16 turnovers and are facing a defense with some big-time playmakers, including sophomore safety Chris Edmonds. Bet on the defense to come through and Welch to keep rolling, as Samford bounces back with a big win.
- Pick: Samford -10.5 (-106)
Alabama State vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff Odds
|Alabama State||-3.5 (-108)||-150||O 55.5 (-112)|
|Arkansas-Pine Bluff||+3.5 (-113)||+123||U 55.5 (-109)|
Hornets In Letdown Spot at UAPB
Alabama State is in a classic letdown spot at Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Week 7 after a huge 35-28 victory over Deion Sanders and Jackson State last weekend. QB Ryan Nettles completed 27 of 42 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Ezra Gray went off for 195 yards and three scores on the ground.
While the Hornets are making all the headlines for handing Sanders his first loss, it was far from a perfect win for Donald Hill–Eley’s football team. Nettles threw two interceptions and fumbled a couple snaps, Gray fumbled in the end zone for a safety and the team committed 11 penalties for 90 yards. They took full advantage of Tigers’ QB Jalon Jones turning in an uncharacteristic dud performance.
UAPB is 2-0 on the season after an impressive 48-21 road win against Grambling State last time out. The Golden Lions boast one of the best quarterbacks in the conference in Skyler Perry, who has thrown for 569 yards and six touchdowns with only one interception. He’s surrounded by veteran offensive talent, including at receiver with Josh Wilkes and Harry Ballard, who each had 100-yard games against the Tigers.
Alabama State showcased some defensive coverage errors that should be exploited by a good Lions offense Saturday. It’s no secret ASU relies heavily on its run game, so UAPD should be able to learn from this past weekend and bring a game plan that gets the ball in the hands of the freshman QB. The defense came away with four takeaways last week, as the Lions have enough talent on both sides of the ball to win this one outright.
- Pick: Arkansas-Pine Bluff +3.5 (-113)
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years of experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.