Southern vs Jackson State Odds, Picks and Predictions: Tigers Dominate in SWAC Championship

In what will most likely be Deion Sanders' final game as head coach with the Jackson State Tigers, we like them to lay a beating to the Southern University Jaguars on Saturday. Find out more in our Southern vs. Jackson State betting picks.

Last Updated: Dec 3, 2022 1:08 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Deion Sanders Jackson Tigers NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

In what certainly seems to be Deion Sanders’ FCS farewell, the Jackson State Tigers will chase their second consecutive SWAC championship as they face the Southern University Jaguars this afternoon. Jackson State hosts the title game, and though there is no official word on Sanders’ next job, his intentions seem clear that this will be goodbye.

Here are our free college football picks and predictions for Southern vs. Jackson State on December 3, with kickoff set for 4:00 ET.

Southern vs Jackson State best odds

Southern Jackson State
+19.5 (-110) Spread -19.5 (-110)
+640 Moneyline -1,000
Over 50.5 (-110) Total Under 50.5 (-110)

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook on Dec 2, 2022.

Southern vs Jackson State picks and predictions

Sanders’ FCS influence has been stark, as time and time again, Jackson State has turned close spreads into all-out routs. The Tigers do not just win, but they dominate. An 11-0 record is one thing... doing so with an average score of 37.5 to 10.1 is another.

Projected spreads routinely suggest Jackson State should win by “only” two touchdowns, only to then prevail by 27 or 35. Just one Tigers’ game this season was decided by one score — a 22-14 win against Campbell that included a Fighting Camels touchdown with fewer than 30 seconds remaining.

Sanders infused such a level of talent into the Jackson State roster that even the analytics that consistently set FCS lines have struggled to grasp this change, particularly when comparing this roster to any other HBCUs.

Looking at one such set of analytics, the No. 2 team in the SWAC, Florida A&M, would be a 15-point underdog to Jackson State right now. The Tigers opened the season with a 59-3 win against the Rattlers. This is the gap Sanders has created.

And now, all indications are Sanders is heading to Colorado, Cincinnati, or South Florida, reportedly telling his team a decision will come Sunday.

At the FBS level, numerous teams have fallen utterly flat when they watch their coach campaign for other jobs. Liberty getting blown out by New Mexico State did not reflect well on Hugh Freeze’s clear commitment to Auburn. Mississippi struggled as Lane Kiffin flirted with that same job. Cincinnati not making the AAC title game sprung Luke Fickell loose for Wisconsin.

But all those come with some level of animosity. A coach making that move during the season does not sit well with his players, particularly when the move is not seen as a clear upgrade.

Sanders has insisted on finishing this conference title chase with the Tigers, and no one will argue he is not leveling up, no matter what job he chooses. His players understand why Sanders would make this jump, but before he does, they can send him out on a high note. Think more of Billy Napier coaching Louisiana to the Sun Belt title last year and less of anything Freeze-related.

This spread of nearly three touchdowns is daunting, but Jackson State is inarguably the better team, and Sanders lends a specific motivation this week. One more rout on Saturday should follow.

My best bet: Jackson State -19.5 (-110 at FanDuel)

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Southern vs Jackson State spread analysis

It's quite shocking that Southern even made it into this game. It earned it, going 5-3 in the conference to win the SWAC West, but two big plays against Alcorn State decided the division more than anything else. If not for a three-play, 73-yard touchdown drive to open that mid-October tilt and a one-play, 36-yard touchdown drive in that second quarter, then Southern would not be in this conference championship game.

The Jaguars are not undeserving or imposters, but they are in over their heads.

Hence, the 19.5-point spread. Based on Jackson State’s 35-0 win against Southern on Oct. 29, that spread is too conservative.

That was one of Southern’s three FCS losses by multiple scores this year, so the Jaguars are not averse to being blown out.

Southern vs Jackson State Over/Under analysis

The instinct here is to advocate for Over 50.5 because Sanders will want to go out with a bang. His pending job change is not speculative and will be announced somewhere as soon as Sunday.

Sanders has no need to keep anything close to the vest on Saturday. Every big play available to the Tigers should be trotted out, and then a celebration of a fourth quarter might boost Southern’s tally by a touchdown or two.

Southern vs Jackson State game info

Location: Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, Jackson, MS
Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022
Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN2

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