Weekly CFB Mid-Major Betting Report: Rice Owls Week 6
by Aaron Smith - 10/6/2011
The college football season has already reached Week 6. The mid-major report is back once again with another look at the Rice Owls. Rice was selected at random as the team I would follow this year as part of this mid-major report special series. Through the year I will closely follow the Owls in hopes of gaining an edge on the books. I’ll be reading reports from beat writers, following players on Twitter, and analyzing every number I can find about this team. The goal of this report is to help show readers that specialization can be a profitable strategy. At the end of each report, I make a selection on this week’s Rice 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 football picks.
Last Week’s Game
For the second straight week the Rice defense was absolutely chewed and spit out by the opposing offense. Southern Mississippi ran for 370 yards and picked up 33 first downs. The Owls offense, which had been showing some improvement in recent weeks, took a big step backward.
The Owls picked up just 229 total yards last week, and just 33 of those yards were on the ground. Though the Owls did score 24 points, 14 of those came from two fumble recoveries that were returned for touchdowns. My selection from last week was on the ‘over,’ so the 48-24 score was plenty to make that selection a winner.
The Owls defense was manhandled by Baylor two weeks ago, but most expected that game to be a real problem. The fact that Southern Mississippi rolled up 654 yards of total offense is an even bigger cause for concern. The huge disparity in yardage on the ground simply isn’t something the Owls can expect to overcome. Both the offensive and defensive line must play better for Rice.
Notes of Interest
-Joseph Duarte, the beat writer for The Houston Chronicle, wrote this week that the Owls good fortune, when it comes to injuries, appears to be over. There were virtually no serious injuries through the team’s first three games, but that all changed this week. Starting cornerback Phillip Gaines is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Charles Ross, who was having a good season as a kick returner and running back, will miss 2-4 weeks with a hamstring injury. Backup strong safety Gabe Baker has a severe ankle sprain and may miss up to six weeks. On the positive side, sophomore running back Turner Peterson is expected to be back in the lineup after missing last week with a knee injury.
--Coach David Bailiff said in this week’s press conference that he believes he needs to do a better job putting the team in more stressful situations in practice so they will be prepared on game day. He also said he believes the defense needs to be better prepared for tempo changes from the opposition.
--Blake Miller, who was previously the offensive line coach at Rice in 2007 and 2008, is now the offensive line coach for Memphis.
--Rice ranks dead last in all of college football in total defense right now. The Owls are giving up 550 yards of total offense per game, which is more than any other team in the nation.
--The ‘over’ is 59-21 in the Owls last 80 games overall.
--The ‘under’ is 6-2 in the Owls last eight home games.
--Rice is 4-0-1 ATS in their last five home games.
--Memphis is 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 road games.
Rice vs. Memphis College Football Odds
The Owls opened as 20.5-point favorites in this one, and the line has stayed steady at that 20.5-point level. The posted total opened at 60 points, but it has slowly moved down to 59.
Rice vs. Memphis College Football Picks
Memphis is a team that Rice really needs to beat. The Tigers have just one win this year, and that was against an FCS team. Memphis is averaging just 15 points a game, while they are allowing 38.4 points per game. Rice beat Purdue in an impressive nonconference victory at home earlier this year, and I expect them to use this game as a way to regain some confidence against a poor Memphis team. Memphis has lost to three teams by at least 40 points this year. While I don’t think Rice will beat them by that much, I do think the Owls will win this game.
This is a game in which I see absolutely no value on the side or the total. Part of being a profitable bettor is picking your spots wisely. In this case, I am going to lay off this game and simply prepare for next week. Next week’s report will feature a review of this game, and a pick for the matchup with Marshall next weekend.
No Selection on the Memphis/Rice Game
Rice Weekly Picks Season Total: 3 Wins and 1 Loss (+$590)
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