North Dakota State vs. Montana betting lines & prediction: NDSU going for third playoff road win in a row in FCS semifinal

The North Dakota State Bisons had no trouble taking care of business against No. 3 seed South Dakota last weekend on the road. They’ll face another tough road test this week in their FCS semifinal matchup with the No. 2-seeded Montana Grizzlies.

NDSU opened as a 1-point favorite despite being an unseeded team playing its third road game in a row against a seeded team. Let’s take a look at North Dakota State vs. Montana odds, props and predictions for this FCS semifinal contest. 

North Dakota State vs. Montana: Point spread, moneyline, total

After winning a nail-biter against Montana State in the second round, the Bison dominated the Coyotes in the quarterfinals last weekend, winning 45-17. Conversely, Montana needed overtime to take down Furman, 35-28.

As of this writing, the top sports betting apps had not released lines for North Dakota State vs. Montana, but they will appear here once they do. 

Related: Best college football betting promos | Top online sportsbook apps

North Dakota State vs. Montana trends and history

  • This game will be the 11th time North Dakota State and Montana have played.
  • The Bison lead the all-time series 6-4 and won the last two meetings, both second-round playoff games (2015 and 2022).
  • North Dakota State lost three games during the regular season for the first time since the 2010 season (10-3).
  • NDSU has been a regular in the postseason since 2010. Since then, they have won nine national championships and played in the title game 10 times (the only loss was to South Dakota State last season, 45-21).
  • North Dakota State is 4-2 on the road, including two road wins in the postseason.
  • Montana is undefeated at home. Their last home loss came against Idaho in Week 7 of the 2022 regular season.
  • The Grizzlies have played in the postseason in six of the last 10 seasons, including the last two. They lost in the second round four times (including last season) and the quarterfinals in the other two.
  • Montana last made it to the FCS semifinal round in 2011; their last win in the semifinals was in 2009.

North Dakota State vs. Montana analysis

North Dakota State has been doing what every team wants to do at this time of year: playing their best football.

They dominated Drake in the first round and got a clutch special teams play to beat Montana State in OT during the second round. They may have turned in their best game of the season last weekend vs. South Dakota.

The offense was balanced, gaining 210 through the air and 206 on the ground, and opened up a 35-3 lead at the half. As for the defense, it chipped in three interceptions (two in the first) and didn’t give up a touchdown until garbage time.

They even scored on special teams with a punt return for a touchdown.

But Montana is 12-1 for a reason. Powered by the No. 17 rushing attack in the nation, the offense averaged 32.3 PPG. Like the Bison, they have a strong run defense (No. 9), giving up less than 100 YPG.

Points have been hard to come by against them with the defense allowing just 15.8 PPG (NDSU has allowed 19.8 PPG).

Bets to consider

North Dakota State spread

Montana is playing good ball at the right time of year, but North Dakota State has been living up to its championship pedigree. The Grizzlies will be another tough road test, but the Bison are up to the challenge.

It will be a great game with a late score by NDSU to secure a win and a return trip to the FCS championship game.

OVER

Both teams have formidable defenses that have been stingy to opposing offenses all season. They also have offenses that have been playing well in recent weeks, no matter how good the stats say the opposing defense is. 

Montana has scored at least 34 points every week over their last six. North Dakota State has done the same the last five weeks and has averaged 49 PPG during the postseason.

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