The 23rd-ranked Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles look to stay perfect this spring when they face the 16th-ranked Jacksonville State Gamecocks in a key Ohio Valley Conference matchup on Sunday. Tennessee Tech (1-0) opened its spring FCS slate last week with a come-from-behind 27-21 victory over Austin Peay. Jacksonville State (3-1) is making its spring debut after playing four games this past fall. The Gamecocks opened with a 41-24 loss at Florida State before rattling off three straight wins before the program was shut down due to COVID-19.
Kickoff from Burgess-Snow Field in Jacksonville, Ala., is set for 4 p.m. ET. Jacksonville State leads the all-time series 16-7, including an 8-2 edge in games played at Jacksonville. The Gamecocks are 13.5-point favorites in the latest Tennessee Tech vs. Jacksonville State odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 55.5. Before making your Jacksonville State vs. Tennessee Tech picks, you'll want to see the latest college football predictions and 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, and is a specialist when it comes to picking all levels of college football. He enjoyed a dominant 2019 season, going 116-79 against the spread while returning nearly $3,000 to $100 bettors.
- Tennessee Tech vs. Jacksonville State spread: Jacksonville State -13.5
- Tennessee Tech vs. Jacksonville State over-under: 55.5 points
- Tennessee Tech vs. Jacksonville State money line: Tennessee Tech +400, Jacksonville State -550
- TT: Tennessee Tech will be looking for its first win as a ranked team since Nov. 19, 2011
- JSU: Senior tight end Trae Barry is second on JSU's list for career receiving yards by a tight end with 1,316.
Why Jacksonville State can cover
The Gamecocks have played well at home of late, going 5-2 in 2019 and 1-0 this past fall. Among the many offensive weapons Jacksonville State has at its disposal is redshirt sophomore wide receiver Dave Russell III. In the fall, Russell was second on the team with 11 receptions for 121 yards (11.0 average).
Defensively, the Gamecocks are led by sophomore safety Nicario Harper, who made a big impact on his new team. Harper tied for the team lead this fall with 28 tackles, including 10 solo, with one tackle for loss, one interception, one pass breakup, one quarterback hit and one fumble recovery he returned 64 yards. Prior to joining Jacksonville State, Harper played two seasons at Southern Mississippi, where he appeared in nine games as a true freshman in 2018, primarily on special teams as the Golden Eagles' gunner.
Why Tennessee Tech can cover
The Golden Eagles got a jump on their spring schedule when they beat Austin Peay last Sunday. Trailing 14-3 midway through the third quarter, Tennessee Tech rattled off 24 straight points before hanging on late. Junior quarterback Bailey Fisher completed 11-of-18 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. In 2019, Fisher set single-season marks in completions (231), pass attempts (375), passing yards (2,643), passing touchdowns (32) and total offensive yards (3,132). He also set a school record with six touchdown passes against Eastern Illinois, while rushing for a personal-best three scores against Samford and Western Illinois.
Defensively, the Golden Eagles are led by senior defensive lineman Chris Tucker, who registered seven tackles and forced one fumble against Austin Peay. As a junior, Tucker was a force, earning All-Ohio Valley Conference first-team honors. He registered 56 tackles, including 23 solo, with a team-high 13.5 tackles for loss for 47 yards, including 5.5 sacks. He also recovered three fumbles and had four quarterback hurries.
How to make Jacksonville State vs. Tennessee Tech picks
Hunt has studied the matchup and found a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Tennessee Tech vs. Jacksonville State? And what crucial X-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the proven expert who specializes in picking all levels of college football.