NCAA Football Odds – Southern Methodist Mustangs vs Rice Owls Free Pick & Preview
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Mustangs at Owls Matchup
Saturday October 2 – 7:00PM
Rice Stadium – Houston, Texas
SMU (2-2) vs Rice (1-3)
Moneyline: SMU -480, Rice +380
Spread Favourite: SMU -12.5
(Odds courtesy of BetUS)
The Mustangs were outclassed in the second half against TCU after playing a very competitive first half that had everyone buzzing last Friday night. They are only 2-2 but they have been in both losses, covering both times. They are 3-1 ATS this season and this week, against an inferior Rice team, might be another spot to back the Pony Express.
When these two teams meet there are usually a lot of points on the board. The game has gone over 4 years in a row with two of those exceeding high (70 points) O/U lines. It is certainly SMU’s preference to play that style but this year the Owls may not be able to match. It might be a good idea for coach June Jones to hold down the throttle the entire game, daring the Owls to keep pace with the Mustangs passing attack.
If SMU is truly a team on the rise than this game should be a gimme. If they let them hang around like they did against Washington State than anything is possible, especially when you are on the road at night against a rival. The Mustangs will be missing leading rusher Zach Line who has been phenomenal this year but even without him they should be able to muster plenty of offense and points. The key will be defense, if they can get a couple of early stops to build a lead it will put a lot of pressure on a Rice team not built for playing catchup.
The Owls have three 17 point losses and one win by a single point. When they hung tough against Texas in the opener it caught everyone’s attention but now that game looks like it says more about the Longhorns than it does about Rice. They have been out-statted in every game and might not win another contest the rest of the season. At least they have avoided an oh-for season.
One of the problems the Owls are having is that they can’t move the ball on the ground. They are committed to it but are averaging less than 100 yards per game. This puts a lot of pressure on Nick Fanuzzi and the passing game and he is not up to the challenge. Fanuzzi can move the team in fits and starts but inevitably he turns the ball over and this team has no margin for error. Backup Taylor McHargue, who has given them a spark in the past, might see time this weekend if he is healthy.
Although the Owls are not very good they often play better than expected. They have only won three of their last 10 outright but have covered half the time including 2-2 ATS this season. They have a history of success against the Mustangs having one 7 of 10 in the series, losing last year on a late TD at SMU. These two teams are heading in different directions so that series history is not as valuable a guide as it is with other teams.
The Pick: Although the Mustangs are a good play the best one is likely the over. It is only 54 points which isn’t much considering both teams average giving up more than that and the series history of high scoring games.
College Football Gambling Trends
Mustangs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games.
Mustangs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in October.
Mustangs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Owls are 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 conference games.
Owls are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a home underdog.
Score Prediction: SMU 45 – Rice 16
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