Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#3353 Northwestern State vs.
#3354 Incarnate Word
Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 8:00pm EDT
Written by Blake V.

Northwestern State will close out its spring season and will be looking for its first win this season when it travels to Incarnate Word on Saturday night. The Demons have lost four of their five games by single digits. Incarnate Word won its first three games prior to losing in a blowout at Nicholls State in its last game.

Rivers surpasses 400 yards in first start

Northwestern State has lost all five of its games this season, but it has been competitive throughout. The only game it lost by double digits came in a 21-7 setback against McNeese State on March 20. Outside of that, the Demons have lost to Nicholls State, Southeast Louisiana, Lamar and Sam Houston State by single digits. This will be their final chance to win a game during an unusual and unprecedented spring campaign. The defense held Sam Houston State to more than 30 points below its average scoring output.

Quarterback Bryce Rivers became the second player in school history to throw for 400 yards in the loss. It was his first start of his time with the Demons, completing 29-of-51 attempts for 410 yards and two touchdowns. It was also the first time this spring that only one quarterback has played for Northwestern State. Rivers threw for 273 of his yards in the second half, as the coaching staff opted for a pass-heavy second half. Senior linebacker Kyle Moore notched an interception at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Incarnate Word features top offense in FCS

Incarnate Word still has two games left to play this season after its opener against Sam Houston State was postponed until next week. The Cardinals are a high-scoring club, surpassing 40 points in all four of their games. They opened the year with a pair of blowout wins over McNeese State and Lamar prior to a 56-45 win over Southeast Louisiana. Their most recent outing was also their first loss of the season, as Nicholls State dominated in a 75-45 blowout. The home club scored 35 points in a second quarter where it took full command of the game.

Freshman quarterback Cameron Ward set a school record with six touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown in the upset win over Southeast Louisiana. He wound up matching that record with six touchdown passes against Nicholls State last week. Ward is three touchdown passes away from breaking the single season school record. The Cardinals offense ranks first in the FCS in total offensive yards with 592.2 per game Their offensive line has only allowed two tackles for a loss, protecting their quarterback and opening up holes for running back Kevin Brown.

Best Bets for this Game

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The spread becomes a lot smaller when the total is as high as it is in this game. Incarnate Word has the most offensive firepower of any team in the FCS and it is going to be too much for Northwestern State to match for an entire game. The Cardinals running back leads the country in average yards per carry and their quarterback is coming off back-to-back six-touchdown performances. Northwestern State has not scored more than 24 points in a game this spring, so it’s tough to see them matching Incarnate Word on Saturday night.

Prediction: Incarnate Word -10

Full-Game Total Pick

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This is the second-highest total of any FCS game this weekend, but it is that high for a good reason. Incarnate Word has the highest scoring offense in the country and is not entirely interested in getting stops on the defensive side of the ball. Northwestern State should enter this game with some offensive confidence after Rivers surpassed 400 yards last week. The Demons were finally able to let one quarterback play the entire game, which should mean good things in this game. Incarnate Word has been allowing teams to score at will all spring.

Prediction: Over 67.5
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Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.