Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#387 Baylor vs.
#388 Rice
Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 7:00pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#387 Baylor University
#388 Rice University
2-0
0-3
1-1
1-1-1
2-0
2-1
59
13
15
34

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The Baylor Bears will travel to Rice Stadium on Saturday evening for another easy non-conference game against the Rice Owls.

Baylor has yet to be challenged this season, starting the year off with one of the easiest non-conference schedules in the nation. Fresh off a bye week, the Bears open Big 12 play next week and close the year with a grueling schedule that includes three straight games against teams currently ranked in the top-25. Rice enters the week in search of its first victory of the season after playing Army, Wake Forest, and Texas in the first three weeks. Can the Owls give Baylor a run of their money at home on Saturday night?

Bears looking for first win under Rhule after bye week

Baylor ran away with a 63-14 victory at home versus UTSA two weeks ago to improve to 2-0 for the season. Freshman quarterback Gerry Bohanon led the team in rushing with 93 yards and a touchdown on seven attempts and the Bears ran for a total of 368 yards in the win. Junior quarterback Charlie Brewer tossed three touchdowns on the day, giving him six touchdowns and zero interceptions through two games. All three of those touchdowns were caught by Denzel Mims, who added seven catches for three touchdowns for the day. Brewer has now thrown for 30 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions over the past two years and the presence of Bohanon has given the team a dangerous 1-2 punch at quarterback.

The Bears are coming off a bye week, but that hasn’t helped Baylor during Matt Rhume’s tenure with the program. Rhule is 0-2 coming off of a bye week, The Bears are hoping that all their hard work will pay off at Rice this week. Saturday’s contest will mark Baylor’s 13th game in the State of Texas in their last 16 contests.

Bears fans are pretty happy with the direction of the football program right now and the program seems to be climbing up the national rankings. Baylor is averaging 59.5 points per game and 532 yards of total offense, including 318 yards on the ground so far this year. Junior running back leads the team in rushing with 177 yards on 17 carries (10.4 yards per carry).

Rice could play two quarterbacks on Saturday

Rice will have a decision to make at quarterback this week after starter Wiley Green took some reps in practice. Head coach Mike Bloomgren said there’s a good chance that he’s going to play this Saturday after he took the field on Monday for the first time since he suffered a neck injury two weeks ago versus Wake Forest. He could even draw the start, but the second-year coach also said that backup Tony Stewart will play after flashing potential in his of his first two games.

Stewart has completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns for the season and he’s coming off a solid performance at home versus No. 12-ranked Texas.

Stewart completed 12 of 23 passes for 179 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, but Rice stood no matchup in a 48-13 defeat. Junior receiver Austin Trammel saved his best game of the season for arguably the biggest game of the year, totaling six catches for 97 yards. However, Rice was out-gained 509 to 266 in the loss and the game was out of reach by halftime with the Owls already trailing by 31 points.

Baylor leads the all-time series against Rice, but it’s much closer than you might think. The Bears are 49-30-2 versus the Owls, but Baylor has dominated the series as of late, winning eight straight times.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Baylor opened the week as 25-point favorites against Rice and the game will air on CBS Network. The spread has moved up a bit, but four touchdowns doesn’t seem like too big of a number here. The Bears offense has looked dynamic through the first two weeks and redshirt freshman quarterback Gerry Bohanon has added another dimension to this offense. Brewer has yet to throw an interception this year and they’ve moved the ball on the ground at will through their first two contests. Rice has had a tough time competing over the past two weeks after limiting Army to just 14 points in Week 1. They’ve actually had some success under backup quarterback Tom Stewart, but the Owls have still managed just 34 total points in the two games that he’s started. Take the Bears to cover the number on the road in this tune-up before the start of Big 12 play.

Prediction: Baylor Bears -26.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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The over seems set conservatively low in this game. Baylor has scored 59.5 points per game through their first two contests and Rice is giving up a healthy 201 yards per game on the ground. That is going to play right into the Bears’ hands, and on defense, Rice should present their biggest challenge of the season — though that isn’t saying much. Rice scored 21 points versus Wake Forest and 13 last week against Texas, so they should find the end zone a few times here against a less-talented Bears’ defense. Take this game to go over the projected total on Saturday night. 

Prediction: Over 58
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.