Free NCAA Football Prediction: Cougars vs. Owls Odds
Looking for Houston Cougars vs. Rice Owls free picks? College football betting sees the Houston Cougars taking on the Rice Owls on Saturday, September 11, 2021, at Rice Stadium in Houston, TX. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football game Week 2 predictions like this Cougars Owls free pick.
College Football Handicapping Analysis: Week 2
Houston Cougars (0-1) vs. Rice Owls (0-1)
Date: Saturday, September 11, 2021
Time: 6:30 pm EST
Venue: Rice Stadium in Houston, TX
NCAA Football ATS Spread Odds: Houston -8 / Rice +8
NCAA Football Moneyline Odds: Houston -325 / Rice +280
NCAA Betting Total Odds: O/U 52.5
Week 2 college football sees the Cougars and Owls meeting at Rice Stadium.
The Houston Cougars and Rice Owls each came away with losses last weekend to start their 2021 season 0 – 1. That will certainly put that much more emphasis on this matchup on Saturday at Rice Stadium for both programs.
The Cougars fell 38 – 21 to Texas Tech and if you were here for that preview yours truly hooked you with a winning play! Indeed, I gave out the Red Raiders to take the win and it was tight throughout until the 4th quarter.
Houston was outscored 14 – 0 in the final stanza to make the score look a little better for Tech fans and for our action on the game.
The Rice Owls lost 38 – 17 to Arkansas and doh! We cashed that Over ticket right here last weekend. You’re welcome for both of those winners if you were paying attention.
That too was a tight game early as Rice carried a 10 – 7 lead to halftime against Pig Suey. The Hogs were howling as the second half began and Rice was held to only 7 points the rest of the way.
The Cougars are favored by 8 points in this AAC vs. Conf USA matchup.
Well, the Cougars and head coach Dana Holgorsen can’t be entirely crushed by their 38 – 21 loss last weekend. That was one damn good game and it simply got away in the 4th quarter when it was 24 – 21 going into the final stanza.
As we all know, however, an L is an L no matter how you see it on paper it just looks like 0 – 1 to everyone else. So, they have to take the good that came out of that game and continue to build on it now. Of course, this will always be a rivalry game being that we could throw a rock between the Universities. Only 5 miles separate these two teams, so they recruit the state like everyone else does in Texas.
Houston has won the last 5 meetings between the teams and holds a 31 – 11 all-time record in the series. The last time they met was in Rice head coach’s first season in 2018, as Mike Bloomgren had just taken over for the Owls in their first real game of that season. (Yeah, we don’t need to mention the Prarie View A&M Win that actually started that campaign, do we?)
Anyway, things have dramatically changed for these two programs over the last 4 years, this being Dana Holgorsen’s third year with the Cougs program as well. Nothing looks like it did in 2018 and nothing that happened that year, or in any other of the 42 meetings for matter, will affect how this one plays out on Saturday.
Clayton Tune got the opening day start for the Cougs last weekend and he decided to throw the ball to the other team a whole bunch! When you get picked off 4 times you obviously didn’t see anything right, and that certainly didn’t work out well. Tune has to learn how to have some discipline and not cost his team another game.
At the same token, the run game was completely shut down as we all watched on National TV. The Red Raiders held Houston to only 77 team rushing yards and 174 passing yards.
Stopping the run was another problem as Tech’s Taj Brooks broke out for 134 rushing yards with two trips to the end zone. Erik Ezukanma had more receiving yards for Tech as Tune had passing overall in the game for Houston. (179 with a huge 50-yard outburst in the mix)
Well, if history is on their side the home team has won the last 6 meetings and has covered 8 of the last 9 meetings too. Yeah, that won’t help rice this weekend as they look to rebound from their loss to Arkansas, 38 – 17.
Their defeat might be a little tougher to take after taking a 10 – 7 lead to halftime and simply going flat from there. Well, that was an SEC team, oh, by the way, so we have to see that as useful, right?
I certainly can see it as a light on what is a simple L in the loss column, because that is no place for Rice to be playing football. SEC territory, no matter what perception you have of good or bad, is still an SEC team that has such a different level of expectation. Arkansas is not going to win the SEC title but they are still Arkansas and it was cool to see that old rivalry renewed. (I got to write that up last weekend)
So, Rice faces another old friend with plenty of history behind it. Again, none of that will play a role this weekend and Rice has to see the positives to take from last weekend. Like uh, holding Arkansas to only one score in the entire first half!
That is impressive and it did go quickly as heck if you were watching it as I was. That first quarter flew by Rice did all they could do to just keep Arkansas in front of them and not let anything big happen. It worked albeit a loss when the final whistle blew.
Coach Bloomgren put two QBs out on the field to face Arkansas as both Wiley Green and Luke McCaffery saw some time. Green picked up 152 passing yards but he threw the ball to the wrong team 3 times as well. McCaffery was 5 of 10 for 75 yards and I am saying that Luke just might be getting a nod to start here soon enough. Remember now, it was announced we would see them both if you caught the article over at wholehogsports.
Naturally, he is the heir apparent to win the job because of his legs that add an element that Green simply does not have. When you can move the ball with your arm and your legs your teammates want you on the field. Unless your arm is so big that it can carry an offense, which is rare, having that dual-threat option is big and we all know why.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Cougars are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Cougars are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games as a road favorite.
- Cougars are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Rice.
- The home team is 10-3 ATS in their last 13 meetings.
- Over is 7-2-1 in Owls’ last 10 games in September.
- Over is 15-5-2 in Owls last 22 non-conference games.
Free Week 2 NCAA Football Pick
I think this 52.5 total is too low and I also think this will be a tight game. I see it much closer than 8 points and we could see a 28 – 27 type of game. Yes, a ‘whoever has the ball last’ type of game will be seen so that is my call and I am sticking to it.
4* Free Week 2 NCAA Betting Pick:
We are thinking dog again because there is a reason to suspect a tight game here. I do think Rice can win this one outright tbh, but when Vegas gives you points you take them. I get the ML price is sweet but I am not getting greedy with an Owls vs. Houston game.
4* Free Week 2 NCAA Betting Pick: Rice +8
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