Weekly CFB Mid-Major Betting Report: Rice Owls Week 8
by Aaron Smith - 10/20/2011
The mid-major betting report is back for the Week 8 edition. This is a report that focuses on the Rice Owls, who were selected at random before the beginning of the season. Throughout the entire season I’ll be following the team’s press conferences, beat writers, and Rice Owls Twitter feeds to find every little bit of information about this team. The goal of this series is to help show bettors that specialization can be profitable. 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
It was a similar story last weekend in Huntington, West Virginia, for the Rice Owls. After falling 24-20 against Marshall, Rice is now 1-14 on the road since the start of the 2009 season. Last week’s loss to Marshall was particularly hard to take for the Owls. Rice trailed 17-6 at half, but rallied to take a 20-17 lead in the third quarter. The Owls had the ball with three minutes remaining, but they fumbled on their own 23-yard line while trying to run out the clock. Marshall punched it in with just less than two minutes remaining, and the Owls dropped to 2-4 on the season. Last week’s selection was ‘under’ 51.5, which was a winner. The win took the record of plays posted in the mid-major report to 4-1.
The Owls outgained the Thundering Herd in yards, 361-328, but they had two turnovers and Marshall had only one. The Owls defense was solid against the pass, but it allowed 217 rushing yards to a team that had one of the worst rushing offenses in the nation coming into the game. The offense had a solid game, but they still haven’t become an explosive unit.
Notes of Interest
--Joseph Duarte, the beat writer for The Houston Chronicle, had an interesting piece this week about quarterback Taylor McHargue experimenting with wearing gloves on both hands. McHargue has had the ball slip out of his throwing hand on two occasions this year, and he believes wearing gloves will help with the grip of the football. McHargue wore a glove on his non-throwing hand all through high school, but he believes the glove on his throwing hand will help reduce issues he has had with throwing quick screen passes.
-MK Bower of FoxSportsHouston released an interesting mid-season report on the Rice Owls earlier this week. Bower graded each unit of the team and gave reasons for why they received that particular grade. I found his “F” Grade for the coaching staff most telling. Bower gave a well-stated opinion that the constant untimely errors and penalties reflect poorly on a coaching staff that has been in place for five years. Bower believes that the coaching staff needs to do a better job fostering a winning attitude around the team.
-Tulsa, Rice’s opponent this week, is 3-3 on the season. The Golden Hurricane’s three losses have come against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Boise State. This is a Tulsa team that returned most of its major contributors from last year’s team that finished as the No. 24-ranked team in the final AP Top 25 poll.
-Tulsa is 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games.
-Rice is 5-0-1 ATS in their last six home games.
-The ‘over’ is 8-1 in the last nine meetings between these two teams.
Tulsa vs. Rice College Football Odds
The Owls opened as 11-point home underdogs, and that number has stayed steady all week long. The posted total for this matchup opened at 60 points, but it has since slowly dropped to 58 points.
Tulsa vs. Rice College Football Picks
Tulsa has played some very good teams already this year, and I think the Golden Hurricane is still a solid football team. G.J. Kinne is an excellent dual-threat quarterback, and I expect him to engineer a lot of scoring drives against this weak Rice defense. At the same time, Tulsa’s defense is giving up 32.4 points per game, and the Owls should be able to move the football up and down the field.
Tulsa rolled up 612 total yards of offense in their massive 64-27 win over Rice last year. While I don’t expect that many points to be scored in this game, I do think this one will be a high-scoring affair. Both defenses are suspect, and I believe the offenses will take advantage this weekend. My selection for this game is ‘over’ 58 points. Keep an eye out for next week’s report, which will feature a preview and pick for the Owls Thursday night matchup with Houston.
The Pick is 3 Units on Tulsa/Rice ‘Over’ 58 Points (-110)
Rice Weekly Picks Season Total: 4 Wins and 1 Loss (+$790)
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