The No. 7-ranked Montana State Bobcats will play for their first title since 1984 when they take on the No. 3-ranked North Dakota State Bison in the 2022 FCS National Championship Game on Saturday in Frisco, Texas. The Bobcats (12-2), who placed second in the Big Sky Conference at 7-1, have not allowed more than 22 points on defense in a game this season. The Bison (13-1), who finished first in the Missouri Valley Football Conference at 7-1, will play for their ninth championship in the past 11 years. North Dakota State had won three consecutive national titles before Sam Houston won last year.

The game from Toyota Stadium is slated to start at noon ET. Montana State averages 406.9 yards per game of offense, while North Dakota State averages 426.3. The Bison are favored by 7.5 points in the latest Montana State vs. North Dakota State odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 41.5. Before locking in any North Dakota State vs. Montana State picks or FCS title game predictions, you'll want to see the betting advice from SportsLine's Emory Hunt.

Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007, and a former running back at Louisiana-Lafayette. He knows the game from a player's perspective.

Hunt has had plenty of success this season, going 26-15 on FCS best bets this season. Hunt has also gone 178-149 on his college football picks over the past two seasons, returning $1,477 to $100 players. Anybody who has been following him is way up.

Now, he has set his sights on North Dakota State vs. Montana State in the FCS National Championship game 2022. You can head to SportsLine to see his picks. Here are several college football odds and trends for Montana State vs. North Dakota State:

  • Montana State vs. North Dakota State spread: North Dakota State -7.5
  • Montana State vs. North Dakota State over-under: 41.5 points
  • Montana State vs. North Dakota State money line: Montana State +240, North Dakota State -300
  • MS: Since 2002, the Bobcats have earned 10 playoff bids, earning nine wins
  • NDS: The Bison are 36-4 under third-year coach Matt Entz
Featured Game | North Dakota State Bison vs. Montana State Bobcats

Why North Dakota State can cover 

Sophomore quarterback Cam Miller has played a key role in the Bison's success this season. In the semifinal win over James Madison, he threw the game-winning 22-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Luepke with 13:44 remaining and the defense took over from there. Miller finished 10 of 19 passing for 165 yards and two scores. For the year, Miller completed 94 of 139 passes (67.6 percent) for 1,318 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also rushed 60 times for 239 yards (4.0 average) and four touchdowns.

Defensively, North Dakota State has been dominant. It is holding opposing offenses to just 11.2 points per game and 259.7 total yards. In the quarterfinal win over ninth-ranked East Tennessee State, the Bison limited Quay Holmes, the nation's leading rusher, to 35 yards in the 27-3 win. Senior safety Michael Tutsie made a team-high six tackles and intercepted a pass in the third quarter that set up a touchdown as North Dakota State built a 20-0 lead. Tutsie is second on the team in tackles with 79, including 52 solo, with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He also has three pass breakups.

Why Montana State can cover

The Bobcats have had a lot of success over the past 20 years, with seven of their 16 eight-win seasons and four of eight nine-win years coming this century. Montana State has done a good job limiting top rushing offenses during the playoffs. In three playoff games, the Bobcats have allowed just 269 total yards on the ground, 90 per game. Senior linebacker Troy Andersen has had a solid career at Montana State. In 24 games, he has registered 188 tackles, including 140 this season. He has 23 ½ tackles for loss, 9 ½ sacks, one fumble recovery, two interceptions and 10 pass breakups.

Also powering the defense is junior linebacker Callahan O'Reilly, who is second on the team in tackles with 95, including 55 solo. O'Reilly has three tackles for loss, two interceptions, three pass breakups and one fumble recovery. He led the team in tackles twice, with nine against San Diego on Sept. 18 and 10 against UT Martin on Dec. 4. He led Montana State in tackles in 2019 with 91, and recorded 5 ½ tackles for loss.

How to make North Dakota State vs. Montana State picks

Hunt is leaning over on the total, and he's also found a critical x-factor that has him jumping on one side of the spread. You can only see the pick here.

So who will win North Dakota State vs. Montana State in the 2022 FCS title game? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to back, all from the expert who has nailed his FCS picks.