Don’t Forget About the FCS When Making Your College Football Bets

Written By Nathan Frederick on September 30, 2021

Simple Minds released the song in 1985.

“Don’t you, forget about me…Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t..Don’t you, forget about me…”

The song certainly seems to be about love. But maybe it applies to football too.

Here’s how:

Pennsylvania’s college football landscape is dominated by the big-name schools.

Penn State. Pitt. Temple.

But betting lines are listed each football weekend on all kinds of other colleges too, including some FCS (formerly Division I-AA) teams. Pennsylvania has a few of them right here.

Sometimes there’s even value to be found on those lesser-known teams.

So let’s take a deeper dive into Pennsylvania’s FCS football programs and what sports betting options they might provide.

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Who are Pennsylvania’s FCS Teams?

Pennsylvania’s FCS teams include:

  • Bucknell
  • Duquesne
  • Lehigh
  • Lafayette
  • Penn
  • Robert Morris
  • St. Francis
  • Villanova

Villanova plays in the 12-team Colonial Athletic Association. Penn plays in the Ivy League. St. Francis and Duquesne are members of the Northeast Conference. Additionally, Bucknell, Lehigh, and Lafayette all play in the Patriot League.

Betting lines are typically not posted on the FCS teams unless they are playing teams from the FBS.

One recent example occurred on Saturday, September 11th when Duquesne played the Ohio Bobcats in Athens. The Dukes entered as 29.5-point underdogs and the game had an over/under of 50 points.

Surprisingly, Duquesne pulled off a 28-26 upset.

And last Saturday, Villanova and Penn State met in an intrastate matchup. The Wildcats were 30.5-point underdogs. Penn State won that game 38-17 meaning an easy cover for Nova.

Villanova leads Pennsylvania’s FCS teams in futures betting

This Saturday, Pennsylvania’s FCS teams will begin transitioning to their conference schedules and are unlikely to have betting lines posted on many of their remaining games.

However, Barstool Sportsbook does have futures odds posted on the eventual FCS champion. Villanova is highest on that list among PA teams, tied for 13th with a price of +3300. The favorites in FCS futures are as follows:

  • South Dakota State: +300
  • James Madison: +400
  • North Dakota State: +400
  • Montana: +500
  • Sam Houston State: +600
  • Northern Iowa: +1400
  • Southern Illinois: +1400
  • South Dakota: +1600
  • North Dakota: +2000
  • UC Davis: +2000
  • Eastern Washington: +2500
  • Montana State: +2500
  • Missouri State: +3300
  • Villanova: +3300
  • Nicholls State: +4000
  • Northern Arizona: +4000
  • Rhode Island: +4000
  • SE Louisiana: +4000
  • Stephen F. Austin: +4000
  • Weber State: +4000
  • Delaware: +5000
  • East Tennessee State: +5000
  • Illinois State: +5000
  • Jacksonville State: +5000
  • Richmond: +5000
  • Tennessee-Martin: +5000

Pricing is also available on several other teams who lie between +5000 and +20000. Duquesne falls within that range at +15000.

Where can you find FCS odds and info?

Believe it or not, there is actually a podcast devoted to FCS betting for those who would like to learn more. “Bet the FCS” releases new episodes weekly. ESPN’s FCS Standings page is also a great source for stats and information.

The FCS season will culminate with a 24-team playoff. Eleven teams will earn automatic bids by winning their conference and 13 others will receive at-large bids. The top eight teams will be seeded.

After all that, the FCS Championship game will be held on January 8, 2022 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

And in some ways, the conclusion of the FCS season is more satisfying than what will happen in the FBS.

The FCS playoffs will feature 24 teams. A full-blown bracket. No legitimate team left out and no real room for controversy either.

Maybe someday the FBS will move a little closer to that.

But for now, the FCS provides a more complete – and perhaps an even more satisfying – finish.

And it might just warrant a closer look.

“Don’t you, forget about me…”

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Barry Reeger

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Nathan Frederick

Nathan Frederick is an award-winning writer with more than 1,000 published bylines and two decades of journalism experience. His work has won awards from the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Journalists, the Keystone Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has also authored three books, one of which debuted as an Amazon No. 1 New Release.

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