FCS Odds Preview: Iowa-Fueled Jackrabbits Make National Championship Bid

Written By Russ Mitchell on May 13, 2021 - Last Updated on July 29, 2021
south dakota state odds

Has it been a bizarre 14-month window due to the pandemic? Consider this: College football will decide a national champion a month-and-a-half after college basketball crowned its king. That’s great news for South Dakota State and the 12 Iowans on the Jackrabbit roster. The team from Brookings, SD, faces Sam Houston State for FCS title.

The game takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday in Frisco, TX. ABC will carry the contest.

Betting on South Dakota State in Iowa

Sportsbooks have made South Dakota State a 4.5- to 5.5point favorite for Sunday’s game, but fans in South Dakota can’t bet on the Jackrabbits unless they come to Iowa.

South Dakota is in the process of implementing the regulations for voter-approved sports wagering, but:

  • Sports betting will be limited to Deadwood casino properties only.
  • The new law won’t allow wagering on South Dakota’s college teams.

Iowa’s major sportsbooks have odds for the game, however. Fans who cross the border can register online, then bet on the Jacks from an Iowa sports betting app or from a retail sportsbook in Sioux City or near Sioux Falls, SD.

Betfred Sports is offering a promo of $50 in cash if you bet $50 or more on this championship game.

Sam Houston State vs. South Dakota State odds

DraftKingsWilliam HillFanDuelBetMGMPointsBetBetfred
South Dakota State -4.5 -110 | O 47.5 -113 | -195-4.5 -110 | O 47.5 -110 | -200-4.5 -110 | O 47.5 -105 | -194 -5 -110 | O 47 -110 | -2005.5 -110 | O 47.5 -110 | -191-4.5 -110 | U 47 -110 | -190
Sam Houston State+4.5 -110 | U 47.5 -108 | +148+4.5 -110 | U 47.5 -110 | +170+4.5 | U 47.5 -115 | +156+5 -110 | U 47 -110 | +165+5.5 -110 | U 47.5 -110 | +160+4.5 -110 | O 47 | +160

Iowans played key roles on both sides of the ball for South Dakota State.

Garret Greenfield, a sophomore offensive lineman, from Rock Valley, was named an FCS first-team all-American, by the Associated Press. Senior linebacker Logan Backhaus, of Spirit Lake, is one of five team captains. He’s the only current Jackrabbit to hold the honor for more than one season.

Altogether, four linebackers, four offensive linemen, two defensive tackles, a long snapper and a wide receiver come from Iowa:

  • Matt Barnett, redshirt fr. LB — Cedar Rapids
  • Logan Backhaus, sr. LB — Spirit Lake
  • Adam Bock, redshirt fr. LB — Solon
  • Davion Sterner fr. LB — Alvord
  • Jaden Mueller, fr. LS — Johnston
  • Egan Lickiss, sr. OL — Indianola
  • Colby Christensen, fr. OL — West Des Moines
  • Trajan Walhof, soph. OL — Sioux Center
  • Garret Greenfield, soph. OL — Rock Valley
  • A.J. Coons, fr. WR — Solon
  • Ryan Van Marel, soph. DT — Sheldon
  • Caleb Sanders, jr. DT — Glenwood

Favored Jackrabbits are streaking

South Dakota State (8-1) goes into Sunday’s championship game with a seven-game winning streak. Its playoff path began April 24:

  • First Round — SDSU 31, Holy Cross 3
  • Quarterfinal — SDSU 31, Southern Illinois 26
  • Semifinal — SDSU 33, Delaware 3

SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier told reporters:

“This is the last game of the season, it’s our chance to be 1-0. We’re not magnifying the game so that we make it bigger than the last game.”

The Sam Houston State Bearkats (9-0) from Huntsville, TX, also had a chance to host its three playoff games:

  • First Round — SHSU 21, Monmouth 15
  • Quarterfinal — SHSU 24, North Dakota State 20
  • Semifinal — SHSU 38, James Madison 35

Stiegelmeier said his team will have to be ready for Sam Houston State’s speed:

“They’re unbelievably fast at every position. Defensively, there are no weaknesses. Offensively, there are no weaknesses. They have difference-makers — at least one at every position — so coach (K.C.) Keeler’s put together a really special football team.”

The Jacks opened the season with a 24-20 win over Northern Iowa. SDSU’s only setback came the following week with a 28-17 loss at North Dakota.

The FCS playoffs began with a 16-team bracket instead of the usual 24-team playoff field.

Photo by Andy Clayton-King / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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