Upcoming Free Picks

Houston vs. Rice,
9-1-2018 - Prediction & Preview

This is a past game! View all upcoming NCAAF games instead!

Game Snapshot with Current Line

#153 Houston
Cougars
#154 Rice
Owls

Saturday, September 1, 2018 at 12:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Houston Cougars

0 - 0

-
ATS
-
O/U
0
PPG
0
OPPG

Rice Owls

1 - 0

0-1
ATS
1-0
O/U
30
PPG
27
OPPG

Betting Trends

All NCAAF

No betting trends available for this game. Click here to see all available for NCAAF.

It’s a non-conference battle between a pair of Lone Star State schools when the AAC locks up with Conference USA for H-town supremacy. The Houston Cougars are on the road as they take the quick trip to take on the Rice Owls Saturday afternoon. Houston finished 2017 with a 7-5 record, losing 33-27 to Fresno State in the Hawaii Bowl. Rice was dismal last season, going 1-11 and leading to a coaching change. The Cougars own a 30-11 edge in the all-time series and have won four straight matchups, including a 38-3 win in the last meeting on September 16, 2017.

Houston Cougars Look for Oliver to Continue Wreaking Havoc

Houston had their ups and downs in the first season of the Major Applewhite era, finishing with a winning record for the fifth straight season. With that said, the Cougars’ seven wins were the fewest for the school since the 2012 team went 5-7. Houston still has the wrecking ball known as Ed Oliver at defensive tackle. He racked up 73 tackles (47 solo), 16.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, three pass defenses, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery last season. Expect him to be a disruptive force once again this season as he lines up as a potential dark horse Heisman candidate.

The Cougars averaged a healthy 261.3 yards per game through the air last season while adding 166.8 yards per game on the ground. For the season, the team was smack in the middle offensively, ranking 65th in the FBS with 28.2 points per game. Defensively, the Cougars were 42nd in the country as they allowed 23.8 points a contest. Houston turns the QB duties over to D’Eriq King (90 of 139, 1260 yards, seven TD, two INT, 379 rushing yards, eight TD, 29 catches, 264 yards, two TD) on a full-time basis with Tennessee transfer Quintin Dormady in the mix as well. Mulbah Car (80 carries, 388 yards, three TD) is the team’s leading returning rusher. He’ll be in the mix with Baylor transfer Terence Williams (73 carries,  255 yards, TD), who ran for 1,048 yards and 11 scores in 2016. Raelon Singleton (36 receptions, 531 yards, four TD), who transferred from Utah, is going to be in the mix at the receiver position. He’ll battle with Courtney Lark (13 grabs, 235 yards, two TD) and Keith Corbin (10 catches, 164 yards) for targets, of which there are plenty to go around. Caden Novikoff drilled all 43 extra point attempts and 12 of 15 field  goals last season with a long of 45.

Rice Owls Seek Improvement In 2018

Rice was awful last season, going 1-11 with their lone win coming over a hapless UTEP program in week 2 of the season. The Owls opened their season last Saturday by facing Prairie View A&M in a non-conference matchup hoping to get things off on a positive note. Rice has a lot of overhaul from a program that struggled in 2017 with several starters from each side of the ball missing from last season. In addition, the school has a new head coach, as Mike Bloomgren takes over after being Stanford’s offensive coordinator and line coach.

The Owls were miserable on both sides of the ball, ranking 125th in the FBS in offense (16.2 ppg) and 113th in scoring defense (35.8 ppg) on the year. Rice averaged just 144.8 yards per game through the air with only six touchdown passes all season last year. The Owls averaged 187 yards per game on the ground. Jackson Tyner (46 of 97, 598 yards, two touchdowns, five interceptions, 44 rushing yards, TD) is expected to be the starter at QB. Vanderbilt transfer Shawn Stakavage is expected to be the backup while Sam Glaesmann (32 of 72, 500 yards, three TD, six INT) moved to wide receiver. Austin Walter (69 carries, 400 yards, four TD), Emmanuel Esukpa (57 carries, 261 yards, TD) and Aston Walter (one carry, six yards) are all back in the mix. Aaron Cephus (25 catches, 622 yards, five TD) was the team’s leading receiver last year. Austin Trammell (four grabs, 51 yards) and Rhett Cardwell need to step up in the passing game. Haden Tobola (two of three extra points, one of one on field goals with a long of 23) and Jack Fox, who hit his lone extra point attempt last season, are back to share the kicking duties.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Rice had the opportunity of knocking some of the offseason rust off before this one as they faced Prairie View A&M but their best chances here are grinding the clock and trying to keep Houston’s offense off the field. The Owls don’t have the weapons to win a shootout with anyone. It might be too much to ask for Rice to move the ball with Oliver making life miserable in the trenches. Houston’s defense shuts things down and drives the Cougars to victory.

Prediction: Houston Cougars -23.5

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Any improvement offensively will be taken by Rice given how abysmal they were last season. Averaging less than 150 yards a game through the air means that the Owls had to try and run the ball. When opposing teams know what’s coming, it makes it easier for the defense to get off the field. Houston is trying to work in some transfers at the skill positions offensively but with their defense, it might not matter. The Cougars added some talent on that side of the ball, which can only enhance their production this season.

The under is 4-0 in the Cougars’ last 4 games in September, 6-0 in their last six on the road, 5-1 in their last six non-conference games, 4-1 in their last five against Conference USA foes and 14-4 in their last 18 overall. Rice has seen the under 3-0-1 in their last four in September. The teams have stayed under the total in four of their last five meetings: look for this one to follow a similar trend.

Prediction: Under 54.5

Full-Game Prop Bet
Rating:

While Rice scored on their first four possessions in their season opener, the fact remains that they still struggled to get the win over an overmatched Prairie View A&M program that is a FCS school playing in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Houston should have little problem contending with Rice’s defense to get the first points of the game on the board in this one.

Prediction: Houston Cougars to Score First -130

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

It’s hard to really like what Rice brings to the table, even with a new head coach and a change in their system. After all, we just saw the Owls have to rally in the fourth quarter to beat Prairie View A&M on a field goal as time expired. Houston has plenty of weapons to work with and they have a very good defense. The Cougars should have a healthy advantage at intermission.

Prediction: Houston Cougars -16

Half-Time Total Bet
Rating:

If Prairie View A&M can put up 21 in the first half against the Owls’ defense, what does that mean for an actual competent unit like the Cougars? Houston wasn’t overwhelming offensively last season under Applewhite but you have to think they’ll be able to move the ball against Rice. This one should easily go over at the half, even if the Cougars do most of the heavy lifting.

Prediction: Over 30.5 -115

Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.

Login

Forgot Password?
Forgot your password? Enter your email and we'll send you a reset token:

Return to login
Enter the token from your email and a new password. Don't forget to check your spam folder if you didn't get the email.

Upcoming Free Picks

Bank the Bet Podcast
Saturday, Sep 22
NCAAF
#315 Charlotte 60.5
#316 UMass -7
3:30pm
View Pick
#331 Northern Illinois 44.5
#332 Florida State -10
3:30pm
View Pick
#335 Tulane
#336 Ohio State
3:30pm
View Pick
#337 Clemson -16
#338 Georgia Tech 52.5
3:30pm
View Pick
#363 Kansas State 60
#364 West Virginia -16
3:30pm
View Pick
#385 Kansas 59
#386 Baylor -7.5
3:30pm
View Pick
#399 Virginia Tech
#400 ODU
3:30pm
View Pick
#405 Texas A&M
#406 Alabama
3:30pm
View Pick
#327 FIU
#328 Miami - FL
3:30pm
View Pick
#387 South Carolina -2.5
#388 Vanderbilt 53.5
4:00pm
View Pick
#325 UConn
#326 Syracuse
4:00pm
View Pick
#353 Arizona -5.5
#354 Oregon State 75.5
4:00pm
View Pick
#379 TCU -3
#380 Texas 52.5
4:30pm
View Pick
#401 North Texas -12.5
#402 Liberty 65
6:00pm
View Pick
#359 Mississippi St -9.5
#360 Kentucky 54
7:00pm
View Pick
#397 Troy -4.5
#398 UL Monroe 62
7:00pm
View Pick
#395 Texas St 53
#396 UTSA -6.5
7:00pm
View Pick
#381 Army
#382 Oklahoma
7:00pm
View Pick
#383 Louisiana Tech 51.5
#384 LSU -19.5
7:00pm
View Pick
#371 Texas Tech 79.5
#372 Oklahoma State -14
7:00pm
View Pick
#377 UNLV 68
#378 Arkansas State -7.5
7:00pm
View Pick
#375 Coastal Carolina 65.5
#376 UL Lafayette -3
7:00pm
View Pick
#367 Rice 59
#368 Southern Miss -14
7:00pm
View Pick
#357 Florida -3.5
#358 Tennessee 49
7:00pm
View Pick
#313 NC State -5.5
#314 Marshall 54.5
7:00pm
View Pick
#317 Michigan State -5
#318 Indiana 48
7:30pm
View Pick
#369 Arkansas
#370 Auburn
7:30pm
View Pick
#393 New Mexico State -4.5
#394 UTEP 52
7:30pm
View Pick
#341 East Carolina 63.5
#342 USF -20
8:00pm
View Pick
#355 Stanford -2
#356 Oregon 55
8:00pm
View Pick
#389 South Alabama
#390 Memphis
8:00pm
View Pick
#407 Wisconsin -3
#408 Iowa 44
8:30pm
View Pick
#391 Air Force 63.5
#392 Utah State -10.5
10:15pm
View Pick
#411 Eastern Michigan 47
#412 San Diego St -13
10:30pm
View Pick
#409 Arizona State 50
#410 Washington -18.5
10:30pm
View Pick
MLB
#901 New York Mets 9
#902 Washington Nationals -140
4:05pm
View Pick
#915 Baltimore Orioles 9.5
#916 New York Yankees -320
4:05pm
View Pick
#917 Tampa Bay Rays -150
#918 Toronto Blue Jays 9
4:05pm
View Pick
#919 Kansas City Royals -105
#920 Detroit Tigers -105
6:10pm
View Pick
#903 Milwaukee Brewers -115
#904 Pittsburgh Pirates 8
7:05pm
View Pick
#905 Cincinnati Reds -110
#906 Miami Marlins 8
7:10pm
View Pick
#921 Los Angeles Angels 7.5
#922 Houston Astros -275
7:10pm
View Pick
#923 Boston Red Sox 9
#924 Cleveland Indians -120
7:10pm
View Pick
#929 Chicago Cubs -200
#930 Chicago White Sox 9
7:10pm
View Pick
#925 Seattle Mariners -105
#926 Texas Rangers -105
8:05pm
View Pick
#911 Colorado Rockies 7.5
#912 Arizona Diamondbacks -170
8:10pm
View Pick
#927 Minnesota Twins 8.5
#928 Oakland Athletics -230
9:05pm
View Pick
#913 San Diego Padres 8
#914 Los Angeles Dodgers -290
9:10pm
View Pick
Sunday, Sep 23
NFL
#461 Indianapolis Colts 48.5
#462 Philadelphia Eagles -7
1:00pm
View Pick
#463 Cincinnati Bengals 44
#464 Carolina Panthers -3
1:00pm
View Pick
#465 Tennessee Titans 39.5
#466 Jacksonville Jaguars -9.5
1:00pm
View Pick
#467 New Orleans Saints 52.5
#468 Atlanta Falcons -3
1:00pm
View Pick
#469 Denver Broncos 44
#470 Baltimore Ravens -5
1:00pm
View Pick
#471 New York Giants 44
#472 Houston Texans -6.5
1:00pm
View Pick
#473 Oakland Raiders 44
#474 Miami Dolphins -3
1:00pm
View Pick
#475 Green Bay Packers -3
#476 Washington Redskins 47.5
1:00pm
View Pick
#477 Buffalo Bills
#478 Minnesota Vikings
1:00pm
View Pick
#479 San Francisco 49ers 54.5
#480 Kansas City Chiefs -6.5
1:00pm
View Pick
#481 Los Angeles Chargers 48
#482 Los Angeles Rams -7
4:05pm
View Pick
#483 Chicago Bears -5
#484 Arizona Cardinals 40
4:25pm
View Pick
#485 Dallas Cowboys 44.5
#486 Seattle Seahawks -1
4:25pm
View Pick
#487 New England Patriots -7
#488 Detroit Lions 50
8:20pm
View Pick
MLB
#965 Baltimore Orioles
#966 New York Yankees
1:05pm
View Pick
#967 Tampa Bay Rays
#968 Toronto Blue Jays
1:05pm
View Pick
#951 Cincinnati Reds
#952 Miami Marlins
1:10pm
View Pick
#953 Milwaukee Brewers
#954 Pittsburgh Pirates
1:35pm
View Pick
#955 Philadelphia Phillies
#956 Atlanta Braves
1:35pm
View Pick
#957 New York Mets
#958 Washington Nationals
1:35pm
View Pick
#963 Colorado Rockies
#964 Arizona Diamondbacks
4:10pm
View Pick
Monday, Sep 24
NFL
#489 Pittsburgh Steelers -1
#490 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 51
8:15pm
View Pick
#489 Pittsburgh Steelers -1
#490 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 51
8:15pm
View Pick