UAB vs. Rice Odds, Picks: Blazers to Win Big (Saturday, October 1)

UAB vs. Rice Odds, Picks: Blazers to Win Big (Saturday, October 1) article feature image

Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: UAB’s Grayson Cash.

  • The UAB Blazers takes on the Rice Owls in a Saturday night college football matchup.
  • The Blazers enter as double-digit favorites, and we see betting value on them to cover.
  • Read on for Cody Goggin's full breakdown of UAB vs. Rice.

UAB vs. Rice Odds

Saturday, Oct. 1
7:30 p.m. ET
UAB Odds
-104o / -118u
Rice Odds
-104o / -118u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The UAB Blazers head to Texas to take on Rice in Saturday night Conference USA action. After playing tough against cross-city rivals Houston last week, the Owls will look to keep their momentum going in their conference opener.

This will be a challenge, as UAB has finished first or second in this division in each of the last four seasons. Rice, meanwhile, hasn't climbed higher than fifth.

The Blazers enter as 10-point favorites for a reason, and an argument could be made that it should be higher.

UAB Blazers

Blazers Offense

We haven’t yet seen a ton of UAB this year, as it's played only two games against FBS opponents. 

However, the Blazers managed an Offensive Success Rate in just the seventh percentile in a loss to Liberty, whose defense is ranked 64th by SP+. Georgia Southern’s defense was slightly worse at 92nd in SP+, and UAB recorded a 53rd percentile Offensive Success Rate in that game. 

The only game in which UAB’s offense has done really well was against FCS opponent Alabama A&M. The Blazers posted 89th percentile marks in Offensive Success Rate and yards per play against a defense that came in ranked as the 121st-best unit at the FCS level by SP+.

It's slightly concerning how poorly the UAB offense has played this season after head coach Bill Clark stepped away this offseason. It should have an advantage against Rice, but I don’t have too much confidence in this Blazers offense yet.

Blazers Defense

The UAB defense, meanwhile, has not missed a beat this year. It ranks 32nd in Defensive Success Rate and doesn’t have a weakness, ranking 37th and 36th against the pass and run, respectively.

UAB games are 3-0 to the under this season for good reason.

Both FBS opponents the Blazers have faced this year have had offenses that rank in the 70s. In these two matchups, UAB has allowed Offensive Success Rates in the 24th and 53rd percentiles.

I don’t foresee UAB’s defense breaking down against a Rice offense that's among the worst in FBS.

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Rice Owls

Owls Offense

By pretty much every metric you could look at, things aren’t good for the Rice offense this season. The Owls rank 104th in SP+, 127th in Offensive Success Rate and 102nd in EPA per Play.

Both facets of the offense have been a struggle for the Owls this season, coming in at 111th in Passing Success Rate and 126th in Rushing Success Rate.

However, they showed some signs of life against Houston lat week. The Owls posted a 71st percentile Offensive Success Rate, good for their best of the season. Unfortunately for them, Houston’s defense is ranked 99th by SP+.

Their other two opponents, USC and Louisiana, have defenses that are a lot closer to what UAB will be rolling out there. UAB's defense ranks 34th, per SP+, while USC comes in at 35th and Louisiana sits 36th.

Against USC, Rice put up a 29th percentile Offensive Success Rate. It also beat Louisiana with just a fourth percentile Success Rate on offense. Seeing how good the UAB defense is, I don’t see Rice putting up a Success Rate number above the 30th percentile.

The nail in the coffin here for me is that Rice has just a 46.0 PFF run-blocking grade this season, which ranks 123rd in the nation. UAB’s defense ranks 11th in run defense, per PFF.

This poses an obvious mismatch that will likely be exploited, causing Rice to have to win through the air. They will likely struggle to do this as well, as UAB also owns the seventh-highest coverage grade at 91.0.

Owls Defense

Things are slightly better for the Owls defense, but not by much. They come in at 106th by SP+ and 84th in Defensive Success Rate. Most of their success has come against the pass, as they rank 33rd in Defensive Passing Success Rate. 

UAB rushes at the ninth-highest rate in the country, which makes up 63% of its plays. Rice’s strong passing defense will likely not affect the Blazers’ game plan.

UAB vs. Rice Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how UAB and Rice match up statistically:

UAB Offense vs. Rice Defense
Rush Success46127
Line Yards75124
Pass Success8966
Pass Blocking**2858
Finishing Drives46103
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Rice Offense vs. UAB Defense
Rush Success7341
Line Yards8971
Pass Success10234
Pass Blocking**13097
Finishing Drives1093
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling38118
PFF Coverage876
SP+ Special Teams11133
Seconds per Play30.4 (124)30.5 (125)
Rush Rate66.3% (9)52.0% (81)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

UAB vs. Rice Betting Pick

As much as I'm skeptical of the UAB offense, it poses a mismatch for Rice. For the few things the Owls are good at on offense, UAB is better at stopping those things. That could lead to a long day for the Owls.

This will likely be a low-scoring affair, so I would like the under as well. But my favorite pick on this game would be UAB -10. This line should probably be closer to 13, so I would take this up to 12.5.

Pick: UAB -10 (Play to -12.5)

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