South Dakota State vs. Villanova Prediction, Odds, Against Spread, and Over/Under

SDSU is not ranked but is favored against the seeded Villanova Wildcats in their FCS quarterfinal showdown.
SDSU is not ranked but is favored against the seeded Villanova Wildcats in their FCS quarterfinal showdown. / Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits are unranked yet find themselves deep in the FCS playoff hunt. If successful, it would be their second straight trip to San Fransisco for the championship game. 

The last time we saw SDSU, it was beating up on the No. 4 seeded Sacrament State after taking a first-half lead. Now, the Jackrabbits head east to play the CAA automatic-bid winner, the No. 5 Villanova Wildcats. Nova is coming off a 21-16 win over Holy Cross, the first FCS win during Mark Ferrante’s time as head coach. 

The big story of this quarterfinal will be whether or not Villanova’s staunch defense can keep up with San Dakota State’s premium offense. So far this season, the Wildcats are allowing just 15.2 points per game, ranking them seventh in the FCS. The Jackrabbits enter with the eighth-best scoring offense that averages 37.7 PPG.

Despite not being ranked and missing out on an opening-round bye, the Jackrabbits are favored here to make their second straight semifinal. They have a real shot at winning it all after missing out on glory last year by a single TD to Sam Houston. It would have been the first title in the program's history. 

Here are the odds for this FCS quarterfinals matchup, courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

South Dakota State vs. Villanova Spread and Over/Under


  • South Dakota State: -8.5 (-110) 
  • Villanova: +8.5  (-110) 


  • South Dakota State: -290
  • Villanova: +245


  • 48.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

South Dakota State vs. Villanova Prediction and Pick

One knock against the Wildcats heading into this game is that their offense has sputtered a bit in recent weeks. Up until the last weekend of the season, the Wildcats were averaging 30.8 PPG. Since then, in their last three games, Villanova has managed just 21 points on average. Their last game against Holy Cross saw QB Daniel Smith struggle and go 8-for-22 in the air with just 133 yards. Thankfully, the Wildcats ground game bailed them out with a pair of TDs from Justin Covington and another from Jalen Jackson. 

While those two backs are dangerous, Villanova has an even scarier pair of running backs in Pierre Strong Jr. and Isaiah Davis, who is technically a tailback. 

I worry about Villanova’s offense a bit heading into this game. The squad will have to play much better than it has to keep up with the prolific rushing attack of the Jackrabbits. I think at the end they fall and fail to cover as SDSU takes one step closer to back-to-back championship appearances. 

Prediction: South Dakota State -8.5 (-110)