Rice vs. UTSA Betting Odds, Picks: Expect Owls to Keep It Inside the Number (Saturday, October 16)

Rice vs. UTSA Betting Odds, Picks: Expect Owls to Keep It Inside the Number (Saturday, October 16) article feature image
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  • The Rice Owls and UTSA Roadrunners meet in Conference USA action on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Roadrunners have been impressive and enter this matchup as big favorites.
  • Check out CJ Vogel's betting preview for this matchup, including odds, picks, and predictions.

Rice vs. UTSA Odds

Rice Odds +17 (-105)
UTSA Odds -17 (-115)
Moneyline +650 / -1000
Over/Under 53.5 (-120 / +100)
Time 6 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

College football in the state of Texas? Count me in.

Saturday’s matchup between Rice and UTSA should be a good one — well, for at least one of these schools.

Both are playing football this season, though only UTSA can be put in the “good” category. The undefeated Roadrunners are set to host Rice, which is making the short trip over from Houston and brings its 2–3 record with them.

The evening should prove to be another opportunity for UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor to get another victory under his belt.

The only question — by how much?


Rice vs. UTSA Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 16
6 p.m. ET
ESPN+

Rice Owls

Rice Offense

Rice comes into this game against UTSA with relative momentum. The Owls have won two straight games and are averaging 36.0 points per game.

While that may not be impressive off the bat, in the two games prior to this win streak, the Owls had just seven points combined.

The reason for the success has come through the much-improved play of quarterback Jake Constantine. Coming into the season as the third-string quarterback on the depth chart, Constantine stepped up due to injuries and has guided a rather impressive balanced attack as of late.

Constantine does not utilize the deep ball as much as one would think. Of his 60 pass attempts this season, only 12 have traveled more than 10 yards in the air.

Rice is going to drive down the field slowly and methodically, keeping drives alive and finding ways into scoring range.


Rice Defense

Where Rice can make this game interesting and closer than many will expect, is through its defensive line. The best unit by far on the defense this season is the big uglies up front.

The trio of Josh Pearcy, Trey Schuman and Ikenna Enechukwu have carried this defense so far. Over the last two weeks, Rice has racked up seven sacks and 15 tackles for loss.

The reason for so many negative plays has been because the aforementioned group has been able to disrupt the line of scrimmage and create push into the backfield.

The Owls will be able to take advantage of the guards UTSA will deploy this weekend. Brandon Rolfe and Terrell Haynes own the two lowest Pro Football Focus grades for the starting offensive line. That is where this game remains close.

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UTSA Roadrunners

UTSA Offense

Yes, the Roadrunners are undefeated and boast an impressive record at 6-0. Traylor really has this program moving in the right direction and should things go according to plan this weekend, there should be an increase in value in the win column at the end of Saturday.

However, there is a hitch in the offense that can make this game rather one-dimensional in favor of the Owls.

UTSA’s longest run of the season is just 33 yards. There are not many explosive plays as a result of the poor guard play, playing right into the hands of the strong Rice defensive line.

In all honesty, I am banking on these two guards to really hinder the Roadrunners’ ability to move the ball this weekend.


UTSA Defense

There is a star emerging on the UTSA defense and his name is Clarence Hicks. The talented linebacker has six sacks and has generated six additional quarterback hurries. UTSA is creative with the way it moves Hicks around and scheme him to be disruptive.

However, one man alone cannot carry a defense and UTSA is struggling in several other places across the board.

For instance, try the 523 passing yards allowed last week to the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. UTSA has really struggled to defend the slot and it is likely Rice is able to take advantage with Jake Bailey, who leads the team in yards per catch out of the slot.


Rice vs. UTSA Matchup Analysis

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

Rice Offense vs. UTSA Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 95 46
Line Yards 71 74
Pass Success 74 75
Pass Blocking** 88 19
Big Play 118 47
Havoc 83 45
Finishing Drives 113 81
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UTSA Offense vs. Rice Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 64 88
Line Yards 36 92
Pass Success 8 79
Pass Blocking** 81 51
Big Play 110 127
Havoc 18 70
Finishing Drives 47 50
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 118 69
Coverage 74 78
Middle 8 107 30
SP+ Special Teams 129 41
Plays per Minute 123 35
Rush Rate 60.9% (30) 55.8% (59)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Rice vs. UTSA Betting Pick

When it is all said and done, UTSA is going to win this game. But 17.5 points is flat out too many.

It is a different Rice team from the one that led Arkansas deep into the third quarter, but it is one that is really clicking on both sides of the ball and should keep this game competitive.

Don’t forget, the Owl faithful should travel well too.

Pick: Rice +17.5

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