A couple of teams that like to keep it on the ground, Owls of Rice (+10.5) are set to welcome the Marshall Thundering Herd (-10.5) to Rice Stadium. Fans can catch the action live on FCBK and kickoff for this CUSA showdown is set for 3:30 p.m. ET.
Betting Preview: Rice Owls vs. Marshall Thundering Herd
In this Saturday Conference USA matchup, Marshall is labeled as the heavy favorite and is currently giving up 10.5 points. The Thundering Herd are also receiving -425 moneyline odds while the Owls are +315. Oddsmakers have determined the over/under (O/U) to be 47 points. If the underdog gets out in front in the early stages, it will probably create a reasonable live betting opportunity.
The opening line was 10 while the over/under has not moved after being set initially at 47.
The Thundering Herd have gained 0.7 units so far and are 2-6 against the spread (ATS). The team’s posted an O/U record of 6-2.
The Owls have been a disappointment to moneyline bettors this season, losing 6.2 units. They’re 3-4-1 ATS and have an even O/U record of 4-4.
The Thundering Herd have gone 5-3 straight up (SU), including 3-1 SU against conference opponents. The Owls are 0-8 SU overall and 0-4 SU in conference play.
These two conference adversaries did not get a chance to play each other in 2018.
The Thundering Herd continue to be on a roll after a 26-23 win over Western Kentucky last weekTheir defense allowed the Hilltoppers to run for 134 yards on 24 rush attempts, including three rush TDs. Lucky Jackson had a good day for the Hilltoppers in that one with 168 yards on 16 catches. On the offensive side of the ball, Isaiah Green completed 20 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown. Brenden Knox (84 yards on 19 rush attempts) led the running attack. Armani Levias (10 receptions, 77 yards, one TD) and Broc Thompson (three catches, 91 yards) handled the receiving duties in the win.
Rice just suffered a 20-6 loss to Southern Miss. The team’s defensive unit allowed the Golden Eagles to eat up the clock by rushing for 157 yards on 35 attempts, including two rush TDs. Tim Jones put up a solid showing in the win, recording 96 yards on 10 catches for Southern Miss. As a group, the Owls collectively completed 14-of-31 passes for 131 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Wiley Green went 12-for-26 for 104 yards, one touchdown and one interception while Evan Marshman was two-of-five for 27 yards. Charlie Booker (28 rushing yards on 10 attempts) led the running game as Austin Trammell (five receptions, 52 yards, one TD) and Brad Rozner (five catches, 45 yards) led the pass-catching attack in the loss.
Breaking down the offensive play-calling, each squad sports a strikingly similar (56-44) run-pass ratio on the season. Having said that, the Thundering Herd have rushed for 211.1 yards per game (including 215.8 per game versus Conference USA opponents) and have 13 scores on the ground this year. The Owls haven’t been quite as successful. They’re averaging 109.6 rush yards per game (119.5 in conference) and have eight total rushing TDs.
It seems like the Thundering Herd ought to hold an edge when it comes to efficiency in the ground game. Their running backs has logged 5.5 yards per carry while their defense is allowing 3.7 YPC to opponents. The Owls have recorded 3.1 yards per carry and allowed a YPC of 4.3 to opponents.
The Thundering Herd offensive scheme has averaged 219.1 yards in the air overall (255 per game against conference opposition) and has 12 passing scores so far. The Owls have recorded 168.3 pass yards per game (168 against CUSA competition) and have eight total pass TDs.
Defensively, Marshall has let opponents run for an average of 135.1 yards and pass for 253.9 yards per game. The Rice D has allowed 239.6 yards per game to opposing passers and 155.5 yards per game to opposing runners. The Thundering Herd are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 6.51 to opposing QBs, while the Owls have allowed an 8.37 ANY/A.
Passing-wise, Green has amassed 1,401 yards this season, and has connected on 119-of-204 attempts with nine scores through the air and five interceptions. Green’s got a 6.07 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 7.45 over the last two games.
Wiley Green has completed 64-of-124 passes for 652 yards, three TDs and one INT for Rice. His ANY/A sits at a less-than-ideal 4.53 for the year and 3.50 over his past two games.
Marshall Thundering Herd vs. Rice Owls NCAA Prediction
SU Winner: Marshall, ATS Winner: Marshall, O/U: Under
Team Betting Notes
- The Thundering Herd offense has registered eight pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Owls have put up four such plays.
- The Marshall defense has allowed eight pass plays of 40+ yards, while Rice has given up six such plays.
- The Marshall offense has created 16 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while Rice has created eight such runs.
- Both defenses have allowed 10 rushing plays of 20 or more yards. The Thundering Herd have given up 30 running plays of 10+ yards while the Owls have given up 37 such plays.
- The Marshall defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks 29 times this season. Rice has registered just eight sacks.
- As a team, Marshall has averaged 5.3 yards per carry across its last three outings and 5.4 over its last two.
- Rice has averaged 2.8 yards per carry over its last three contests and 2.4 over its last two.