Weekly CFB Mid-Major Betting Report: Rice Owls Week 10
by Aaron Smith - 11/3/2011
We’re back with the Week 10 edition of the mid-major betting report. This report focuses on the Rice Owls, who were selected at random before the beginning of the season. All year I’ll be following Rice beat writers, Twitter feeds of players and staff, and team press conferences to get every nugget of information out there about this Rice football team.
This series is designed to show the average bettor how specialization can be a profitable sports betting strategy. At the end of each report, I’ll make a selection on this week’s Rice Owls game. We will be using Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System for every pick, which will help readers follow along and track the results of these college football picks. We are 5-1-1 so far this season from utilizing this strategy.
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Last Week’s Game
To say that last Thursday night’s loss to Houston got ugly is a major understatement. Rice actually jumped out to a 17-7 first quarter lead, but it was all downhill from there. The Owls led 20-14 with 11 minutes remaining in the second quarter, but Houston outscored Rice 59-14 the rest of the game. A heavy downpour caused Case Keenum and the Houston Cougars offense a little bit of trouble in the first quarter, but after the weather settled down Houston picked apart the Owls defense every single time they got the football.
My selection on last week’s game was on the ‘over’ 73, so the 107 points scored were more than enough for a victory on that pick.
Rice actually moved the ball quite well on the ground last week. The Owls finished with 60 carries for 359 yards. Tyler Smith ran for 170 yards, while Turner Peterson ran for 140 yards. The Owls racked up 475 yards of total offense, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Keenum threw for 534 yards, and Houston rolled up 656 yards of offense. Rice won the turnover battle, but the terrible play of their defense was far too much to overcome.
Notes of Interest
--Bret Bloomquist, the UTEP beat writer for the El Paso Times, wrote about UTEP Coach Mike Price’s interesting practice “incident” from Tuesday afternoon. About 15 minutes into the Miners practice a police car drove to the middle of the field. The police handcuffed Price and loaded him into the back of the cruiser. After the car drove behind the team’s equipment shed, officers released Price and he returned to practice. Price said afterwards, “They heard I had a super plan to shoot some white horned owls in Houston this weekend, so they arrested me.” He then proceeded to say that he told the officers he had a permit from Harris County to shoot owls, so he was let go. Price is well-known for his practice stunts to hype up players, but this one surprised just about everyone involved.
--MK Bower of FoxSportsHouston wrote about Rice senior nose tackle Mike Smith’s powerful speech to the team about resilience. Smith was part of the 2008 Owls team that won seven straight to finish the season despite everyone on the outside doubting them. Smith encouraged his teammates to keep their heads held high, and he reminded them to attack every week as hard as possible.
--In this week’s press conference, Coach David Bailiff said that Nick Fanuzzi has the edge over Taylor McHargue at the quarterback spot right now. Bailiff said Fanuzzi deserves that edge because he has taken care of the football.
--Rice is 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against UTEP.
--The ‘over’ is 60-24 in Rice’s last 84 games overall.
--UTEP is just 10-21 ATS in their last 31 games against teams with a losing record.
UTEP vs. Rice College Football Odds
The oddsmakers couldn’t figure out who should be favored in this one, and it seems the betting public can’t either. The game opened at ‘pick’em’, and there has been absolutely no line movement at all. The posted total opened at 58.5 points, but it has since slipped back to 56.5.
UTEP vs. Rice College Football Picks
The Rice running game was very successful last week against Houston, and I think they could have quite a bit of success in this game as well. UTEP’s front seven has struggled against the run this season.
The Miners are giving up 186 yards per game on the ground. On the other side, Rice is giving up 38 points per contest. UTEP scored 44 points against Rice last year, and I think they’ll put up quite a few again this weekend.
My selection on this game is ‘over’ 56.5. The side is a very difficult call here, but I do think both teams will be able to score in this matchup. Keep an eye out for next week’s report, which will feature a preview and pick for the Owls nonconference game against Northwestern.
The Pick is 3 Units on UTEP/Rice ‘Over’ 56.5 Points (-110)
Rice Weekly Picks Season Total: 5 Wins 1 Loss and 1 Push (+$1,090)
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