The Florida International Panthers will try to settle into a groove when they host the Jacksonville State Gamecocks on Friday night. The Panthers (0-2) are trying to break in a new quarterback and saw key departures at other positions, but Butch Davis' squad has been hit twice by coronavirus issues that postponed three games. This one is a makeup from Week 1, and Jacksonville State (2-1) is wrapping up a four-game fall season, with the only blemish a loss to Florida State.
Kickoff from Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. The Panthers are 10.5-point favorites in the latest FIU vs. Jacksonville State odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total points scored is 59. Before making any Jacksonville State vs. FIU picks, check out the college football predictions 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 playing and coaching perspective.
The football analyst was SportsLine's No. 1 college football expert last season. Hunt went 116-79 on FBS college football against-the-spread picks in 2019, returning a huge profit of $2,976 to his followers. This season, he is on a red-hot run of 9-1 on his FBS college football picks. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Hunt has set his sights on Florida International vs. Jacksonville State. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college football odds from William Hill and trends for Jacksonville State vs. Florida International:
- Jacksonville State vs. FIU spread: Panthers -10.5
- Jacksonville State vs. FIU over-under: 59
- Jacksonville State: TE Trae Barry is fifth in FCS in averaging 80 receiving yards per game.
- FIU: RB D'Vonte Price has 260 yards on just 26 carries over the first two games.
Why FIU can cover
FIU is 7-2 after a week off since Davis took over in 2017, and the Panthers running game looks to be stepping up while the quarterback settles in. Shaun Peterson and D'Vonte Price both broke off runs of 60-plus yards as the Panthers rushed for 270 yards in their 31-28 loss to Middle Tennessee State two weeks ago. Quarterback Stone Norton (141 passing yards) and Kaylan Wiggins (55 rushing) are trying to find their rhythms, but Stone is completing 66 percent of his throws.
The quarterbacks have big-play options in Bryce Singleton, who averages 19.3 yard on his three catches, and transfer JJ Holloman, who had 24 receptions and five TDs for Georgia last season. Tight end Sterling Palmer, who is 6-foot-6, is a big target who has 52 catches since 2018. The defense is allowing big yardage but has six sacks and has forced two turnovers in the two games, with Rishard Dames and Josh Turner posting interceptions.
Why Jacksonville State can cover
Jacksonville State covered the spread in its only game with a line this season, and that was against Florida State. They led that game 21-7 in the first half before losing 41-24 as a 27-point underdog. Senior quarterback Zerrick Cooper threw for 244 yards, and Trae Barry had five catches for 104 yards in the Gamecocks' win against North Alabama last week. Cooper is completing more than 67 percent of his throws, while Barry is averaging 18.5 yards on his 13 receptions.
The Gamecocks limited North Alabama to 276 total yards in the last game on their way to a 24-17 road victory. The unit is allowing 364.7 yards per game, while the FIU offense averages 316 (68th in FBS). The Panthers also allow more than 465 yards per game (63rd). Linebacker Zack Woodard and end DJ Coleman (two sacks), lead the JSU defense, while safeties Nick Harper and Darius Joiner, who each had eight tackles against FSU, can make plays all over the field.
How to make FIU vs. Jacksonville State picks
Hunt is leaning over on the total, and he's also found a critical x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Jacksonville State vs. FIU? And what crucial x-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump all over Friday, all from the expert who was up almost $3,000 last season on college football picks.