- Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State clash in FCS action on Saturday, February 27th
- The Tigers blew out NAIA Edward Waters by a 53-0 score in Deion Sanders’ first game as head coach
- Read below for the odds, spread and betting preview
The Jackson State Tigers will look to continue their winning ways under head coach Deion Sanders when they face Mississippi Valley State on Saturday, February 27th (3:00 PM EST). JSU is being listed as 11.5-point favorites at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Tigers earned a 53-0 shutout win over Edward Waters in Sanders’ college football coaching debut, while the Devils have yet to open their 2021 spring season.
Can Jackson State take advantage of a potentially rusty MS Valley team and cover the spread as home favorites?
Jackson State vs Mississippi Valley State Odds
|Mississippi Valley State||+11.5 (-112)||+370||O 50.5 (-106)|
|Jackson State||-11.5 (-108)||-520||U 50.5 (-114)|
Odds taken Feb. 25th from FanDuel
Sanders’ Dominant Coaching Debut
Jackson State earned a commanding blowout victory over Edward Waters in Deion Sanders’ college coaching debut last weekend. The Pro Football Hall of Famer had his team up 31-0 over the Tigers at the end of the first half and didn’t let go of the gas pedal en route to a 53-0 season-opening victory.
There wasn’t much doubt that JSU’s offense was going to dominate a very susceptible defense, so this team will get its first real test on Saturday. Sophomore quarterback Jalon Jones got the start in the opener, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for an additional score, while running back Kymani Clarke also impressed with a pair of rushing touchdowns.
Aside from already have one game under their belt, one big advantage the Tigers will have Saturday is home field. There is currently limited capacity seating allowed at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, which meant that approximately 12,000 JSU fans were able to take in the season opener against Edward Waters. The Tigers should be able to feed off the crowd energy once again as they begin conference play.
Delta Devils Out for Revenge
Mississippi Valley State will be playing its first game of the season Saturday after posting a 2-9 record in 2019. One of their closest games of the season was a matchup against JSU at Rice–Totten Stadium in which the Tigers won by a 31-28 score in overtime. The Delta Devils haven’t beat the Tigers since a 27-23 road victory in 2014.
GAME WEEK!!!#LockedIn #BeatJacksonState pic.twitter.com/AnNn3o1DCn
— MVSU Football (@MSValleyFB) February 23, 2021
The MSVU offense is once again expected to struggle this year after averaging 16 points per game in 2019, but they do have a big bright spot on defense. All-SWAC preseason selection, LB Jerry Garner, is the heart-and-soul of this team and racked up 10.5 tackles for loss in 2019. He’ll be a factor against a JSU rush attack that averaged only 4.4 yards per carry in the opener.
What’s the Best Bet?
It may have only been against a lackluster NAIA team, but Jackson State looked impressively dominant in their opener. Dual-threat QB Jalan Jones looked poised as he went 18-of-20 passing without an interception, while running back Kymani Clark and receiver Warren Newman were both explosive. The passing attack should be in for another big day against an MSVU secondary that struggled mightily last year.
Deion Sanders is making his head coaching debut for Jackson State today.
They’re up 31-0 at halftime ???? @brgridiron pic.twitter.com/Usq3NuAm8V
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 21, 2021
The Delta Devils were held to seven or fewer points in four of their games last season, which is problematic going up a JSU defense that is playing with confidence. The Tigers defense held the EC offense to just 104 yards, including only 21 yards on the ground. Part of the reason Edward Waters never even entered the end zone was the superb play of linebacker Keonte Hampton, who recorded a team-high seven tackles.
The Delta Devils certainly have some weapons to make this a closer game than JSU’s opener, but they don’t have the offense to keep pace with the Tigers’ passing attack. Clark was a huge factor in the win last season, so expect him and Jones to continue their impressive play from the opener and lead the Tigers to a convincing win over an MSVU team that hasn’t played since November 2019.
Pick: Jackson State -11.5 (-108)