Free Week 1 Prediction: Rice Owls vs Army Black Knights Odds
Looking for Rice Owls vs. Army Black Knights free picks? Week 1 betting sees the Rice Owls taking on the Army Black Knights Friday August 30th at Michie Stadium in West Point, New York. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this Rice Army Week 1 free pick.
College Football Handicapping: Week 1
(0-0) Rice Owls vs. Army Black Knights (0-0)
Date: Friday, August 30th 2019
Time: 6:00 pm EST
Venue: Michie Stadium, West Point, New York
NCAA Football Spread: Army -21.5
NCAA Betting Total: 48.0
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College football is back and with ”week 0” behind us we move onto week one and this Rice Owls versus Army Black Knights matchup.
This exciting matchup will take place in West Point, New York at Michie stadium with a capacity of 38 000.
Coach Mike Bloomgren basically inherited a dumpster fire when he took the reins last year. The team only won 1 game the season he took over (2017) and he, and the Owls, were only able to improve on that awful season by 1 win finishing 2-11 in 2018.
This has been a program that has struggled for quite awhile now as their last bowl game was all the way back in 2014.
There is, however, some reason to be hopeful as a Rice Owls fan.
They do get most of their receiving corps. back for this season with Austin Trammell, Aaron Cephus and tight end Jordan Myers all coming back to the team. It will, on the other hand, be up to the team’s newly named starter Willey Green to perform well enough to get the ball into their hands.
Willey Green is coming off a season where he only attempted 88 passes. In that time he had a 51.1% completion percentage and threw for 621 total yards and had a 3-4 TD to INT ratio.
The stat line doesn’t look like much, but Green did show some flashes of being a decent starter throwing for 313 yards against UTEP last year.
The new starter will likely need to make up for what should be a brutally bad rushing offense. The Owl’s rushing attack during the 2018 season only went for an abysmal 1867 total yards which only averaged 3.8 yards per carry.
In addition to that, they lose their leading rusher Austin Walter and their second leading rusher transferred to BYU.
On the defensive side of things there is not much to be said. This Rice defense was brutal last year finishing last in their conference and allowing 36 points per game. One of the few defensive players of note is safety George Nyakwol Jr who had 67 tackles and 2 picks last season.
Army Black Knights
The Army Black Knights have been having a ton of success with their smash mouth style of football. They are coming off an impressive 11-2 season which ended in an Armed Forces Bowl win.
Coach Jeff Monken will be looking to push this squad even further and there is all the reason in the world to believe they can do just that.
The Black Knights love to run the ball and rely on the option, but they also have burners who can hit you down the field if you commit too many in the box.
Army actually led the nation in terms of their average yards per catch which sat at 20, so they are no newcomers to the big plays.
The guy who threw the ball last year is also back in Kelvin Hopkins who should be improved after yet another full year under his belt. In the last campaign he threw for 1017 yards and had 17 touchdowns and ended the year with 5 scores in the Armed Forces Bowl where his Army annihilated Houston 70-14.
It is not all rosy, however, as the Black Knights lost their fullback Darnell Woolfolk who rushed for 956 yards last year and had 14 TD’s. Connor Slomka will need to pick up some of that slack with Woolfolk’s departure.
He probably can too, as he had 324 yards last year and 5 touchdowns and with the amount of extra snaps he is going to see their is no reason to believe he won’t eclipse 1000 yards.
The defense for this side was outstanding last year finishing 8th in the country and allowing under 300 yards per game.
They do, however, need to deal with some losses as they lost top tackler James Nachtigal who will be hard to replace. In terms of the secondary Army gets a good chunk of their starters back, most notably Elijah Riley and Jaylon McClinton who were both integral to Army’s success last year.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Owls are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. INDEP.
- Owls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in August.
- Black Knights are 7-3-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- Favorite is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
- Owls are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Free Week 1 NCAA Football Pick
It really seems tough for me to imagine how the Rice Owls move the ball. This is an awfully tough defense to face for a new starter and the Owl’s rushing attack has been further decimated with players moving on.
The defense also should not be much better here and I would look for the Army Black Knights to dominate time of possession and destroy rice in this spot.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Army -21.5
This number opened at -24, but has moved to -21.5 so it might be best to wait and see if we can get this to 21. Either way I am still going to be on Army and I would recommend backing the Knights this Friday.
Week 1 Free Score Prediction: Rice Owls 10 – Army Black Knights 37
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