Weekly CFB Mid-Major Betting Report: Rice Owls Week 11
by Aaron Smith - 11/10/2011
It’s the second week of November, and it’s already Week 11 of the college football season. It’s time for another edition of the mid-major report. This report focuses on the Rice Owls, who were picked at random before the season began.
All year I’ll be following team press conferences, Rice beat writers, and Rice staff members on Twitter. The information I get from all these different sources will be used to help me become a specialist on this year’s Rice football team.
The goal of this series is to show the average bettor that specialization can be a profitable 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.
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Last Week’s Game
The Rice Owls haven’t had a whole lot go well for them so far this season, but last week’s 41-37 win over UTEP was a great homecoming win for the team.
Nick Fanuzzi’s return to the starting lineup fueled an impressive output by the Owls offense. Fanuzzi racked up 405 yards passing on Saturday, which was the best output by a Rice quarterback this season. Even more impressive was the fact that in 43 pass attempts, he threw three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The offense as a whole was fantastic on Saturday. Tyler Smith and Turner Peterson led the way as the team ran for 222 yards. Rice finished with 671 total yards, which was the third highest offensive output in school history. My selection on last week’s game was on the ‘over’ 56.5, so the 41-37 was plenty for that to be a winner.
The Owls defense did give up 37 points, but there were several bright spots in last week’s win for the defense as well. UTEP ran for only 98 yards on the day, and the Miners finished with only 392 total yards of offense.
Bryce Callahan cemented his status as the team’s top ball hawk in the secondary. Callahan picked off two more passes last weekend, which pushed his 2011 total to five interceptions.
Notes of Interest
--Despite Rice’s poor record overall in football the last few years, the Owls seem to find a way to win on homecoming. Last week’s homecoming win over the UTEP Miners was the Owls seventh straight homecoming win.
--Northwestern, this week’s opponent, actually has five players on their roster from the Houston area. This should add a little intrigue to the matchup since there will be some familiarity with certain players from their high school days.
--Fanuzzi was named Conference USA Player of the Week after his impressive performance from this past Saturday. MK Bower of FoxSportsHouston, had a nice article on Fanuzzi this week. Fanuzzi was a highly-touted transfer from Alabama who was been torn apart by many Rice fans because of his inconsistency at the quarterback spot in the last couple years. It is nice to see a player like Fanuzzi having success after working hard for several years.
-Rice is 1-8 ATS in their last nine road games.
-Northwestern is 6-20 ATS in their last 26 games as the favorite.
-The ‘over’ is 38-13 in the Owls last 51 road games.
Rice vs. Northwestern College Football Odds
Northwestern’s big win over Nebraska last weekend likely got them a little extra respect from the oddsmakers. The Wildcats opened as 15.5-point favorites in this matchup, according to college football odds. The line has now moved to Northwestern -16.5 as money has come in on the home team. The posted total opened at 66.5, and it has now edged up to 67 points.
Rice vs. Northwestern college football picks
Northwestern has been a terrible team as the favorite, but Rice has been dreadful on the road. Both teams have a shaky defense and an improving offense, but 67 points could be hard to come by in the chilly and windy conditions in Evanston on Saturday.
This is a game where I simply don’t see enough value to make a selection of any kind. I firmly believe that in order to build your bankroll, you must pick your spots wisely. I believe the books have set a solid number here, and I’m just going to lay off altogether.
No selection on this week’s game. Keep an eye out for next week’s report, which will feature a preview and pick for the Owls final home game of the year against Tulane.
No Selection on the Rice/Northwestern Game
Rice Weekly Picks Season Total: 6 Wins 1 Loss and 1 Push (+$1,390)
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