Rice vs. Charlotte Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Guide to This College Football C-USA Clash
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- Charlotte, which has lost two games in a row, will host Rice in a Week 10 Conference USA clash.
- The 49ers are favored by less than a touchdown against the Owls.
- Darin Gardner dives into this college football matchup and offers up his top pick.
Rice vs. Charlotte Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Saturday’s matchup between Rice and Charlotte is one that only a gambler could love.
Both enter the game with 2-2 records in conference play, with Charlotte at 4-4 overall and Rice at 3-5. The Owls had some momentum after pulling off a road upset at UAB — in a game where they were 24-point underdogs and had a team total of just 10 — but then turned around and lost at home to a horrendous North Texas team last week.
For Charlotte, it is hopeful that it will be getting quarterback Chris Reynolds back this week after he was only available in an emergency situation last Saturday.
Reynolds is very valuable to this team, and he was sorely missed in a 45-13 loss to Western Kentucky. The 49ers are coming off two huge losses but will look to get back on track at home against a Rice team that has struggled this year.
Rice has rotated between three quarterbacks this season, but it seemed to have settled on one in Wiley Green, who pulled off the upset over UAB two weeks ago. He started last week’s game, but got injured quickly and will not play this Saturday as a result.
Instead of Green, Rice will be going back to Jake Constantine, who has taken the most snaps among Rice’s three quarterbacks this season. Overall, Constantine has been the most efficient option for the Owls, with 8.4 yards per attempt, which is a full yard more than Green’s 7.4.
However, a bulk of his attempts this season came against FCS squad Texas Southern, and his yards per attempt drops below Green’s if that game is removed.
Overall, Rice’s passing game ranks 112th in expected points added (EPA) per throw this season, with the offense as a whole ranking 122nd in points per drive. The ground game has arguably been even worse than the passing game, as it has only hit four yards per carry or more against one FBS opponent this season, ranking 108th in Rushing Success Rate.
The defense has been the better unit on this team, but take that with a big grain of salt considering it ranks 111th in EPA per play allowed. It’s struggled against the run in particular, as the Owls have graded at 114th against the run in terms of PFF grade, and its 5.19 average depth of tackle ranks 107th.
Charlotte can really move the ball through the air, so the Rice secondary will be an important factor in this matchup. Luckily for the Owls, their pass defense has shown some signs of life, ranking 63rd in yards allowed per attempt and 59th in pressure rate up front.
Rice’s defensive tackle duo of Ikenna Enechukwu and Elijah Garcia has been productive in the pass-rushing department. The combination has accounted for 20 pressures apiece. Enechukwu and Garcia will need to aid in slowing down Charlotte’s aerial attack if Rice is to have any shot.
Quarterback Chris Reynolds was injured two weeks ago against Florida Atlantic, and the offense has really struggled without him under center. Reynolds’ return will be highly anticipated, as he ranks 34th in PFF passing grade and 40th in adjusted yards per attempt.
While Reynolds has been productive, the highlight of this offense has been the receiver position, specifically Victor Tucker and Grant Dubose. Starting with Tucker, he ranks 17th at the position in PFF receiving grade and has dropped just one pass on 56 targets.
Dubose has been more of a deep threat in this offense, as his 13.6 average depth of target ranks 36th in the nation among players with at least 50 targets, per PFF. Overall, these two rank seventh and eighth in receiving yards in Conference USA.
Charlotte’s ground game has been disappointing, but it does have a very explosive weapon in the backfield in Calvin Camp. Per PFF, 55.8% of his total rushing yards have come from explosive gains, which ranks ninth among running backs with at least 50 carries. The 49ers rank just 72nd in rushing success rate overall, but Camp has been able to provide a spark at times.
Have you ever heard of the phrase “unstoppable force versus immovable object?” Well, Rice’s offense against Charlotte’s defense will be the exact opposite of that. In terms of EPA per play and success rate, both units rank outside the top 100, and neither has a real bright spot to speak of.
Charlotte has been horrible against the pass and the run, but the pass defense has probably been the weaker of the two. In terms of PFF grade, Charlotte ranks 123rd in coverage and 127th in the pass rush. The 49ers have only ten sacks this season, with edge defender Markees Watts being responsible for four of those.
To date, the only FBS opponent that Charlotte has held under seven yards per play was Illinois, who amassed 6.2 per play. The number was still well above the Illini’s season average of 4.6.
Rice vs. Charlotte Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Rice and Charlotte match up statistically:
Rice Offense vs. Charlotte Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Charlotte Offense vs. Rice Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||129||64|
|Plays per Minute||128||120|
|Rush Rate||62.2% (17)||56.5% (55)|
Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.
Rice vs. Charlotte Betting Pick
This line was available at 3.5 on Sunday afternoon, but that dried up quickly and now sits at six in most spots.
There’s usually a good reason behind market movement and I believe it was warranted here in a game I project at 8.2 in favor of Charlotte. While the edge isn’t as big now as it was early in the week, I still think there is value on the 49ers here, provided Reynolds is good to go at quarterback.
While Charlotte’s defense is definitely a concern, the passing game is the best unit in this matchup by a heavy margin on either side.
Pick: Charlotte -6
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