Point Spread: Western Kentucky -16.5
Total Line: 60
The Rice Owls have been pretty consistent over the last few years as a middle of the pack team and had managed bowl appearances up until last season. This season they are returning to the grid iron with a decent amount of experience but a heavy non-conference schedule. Senior QB Tyler Stehling finally gets his opportunity to start and brings some excellent scrambling ability with him. In the running back positions, the return of their top 4 from last season adds a huge element of experience and we expect to see the Rice squad with an excellent run game.
Western Kentucky has always been a fan favorite with their potent offence. Coach Jeff Brohm has managed to take the Hilltoppers under his tulage to a very positive 20-7 in his first two seasons. This year the QB position is up for grabs including Mike White transferring from USF. The Hilltoppers have a 5-man veteran offensive line and returning top 2 running backs so we expect to see a much better run game this season. Western Kentucky will have a start from scratch defensive side after having to replace 7 starters but there are a few seasoned players left to add some experience.
This first college football matchup of these two teams should prove whether Rice is back and on the move looking to regain their bowl appearance while WKU will be looking to flex their dominance on the field even though Brandon Doughty is no longer leading this squad.
- The Owls are 1-4 against the spread in their last 5 games.
- Rice is 2-6 straight up in their last 8 road games.
- The game total has gone Over in 8 of Rice’s last 11 road games.
- The HillToppers are 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 games.
- Western Kentucky is 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 home games.
Rice Owls at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Free Pick
Rice was destroyed by 39 points in their meeting last season with WKU getting the easy cover just past the half way mark of the first quarter. I don’t think we’re going to see a repeat of that this time around. The Hilltoppers QB Mike White will be making his first start for the team after sitting out last season, so it’s logical to think that he’ll take a few games to get on track. The Owls managed just 85 yards on 35 carries in the game last season for a putrid 2.5 yards per carry. Scoring will come at a premium in this match and we’re going to call for this game to fall under the posted line.
Take the UNDER 60