The UTSA Roadrunners (+2) aren’t traveling far to battle their CUSA counterpart Rice Owls at Rice Stadium. The matchup will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET and ESPN 3 has the TV rights.
Betting Preview: UTSA Roadrunners vs. Rice Owls
In this Saturday Conference USA game, Rice is tabbed as the favorite and the team’s currently giving up 2 points. The Roadrunners are also receiving +110 moneyline odds while the Owls are -130. Vegas has placed the over/under (O/U) at 56 points, and if one side can find paydirt early, it will probably produce a nice betting scenario in-game.
The total has not moved after it was set initially at 56. Having said that, the line opened at 1.5 and has recently moved down to -2.
The Roadrunners are down 1.0 unit so far and 0-5 against the spread (ATS). The team’s posted an O/U record of 4-1.
The Owls have lost 2.0 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 2-3 ATS and have an O/U record of 5-0.
The Roadrunners are 2-3 straight up (SU), including 1-0 SU against CUSA opponents. The Owls are 1-4 SU overall and 0-1 SU in conference play.
UTSA enters this matchup on a zero-game losing streak while Rice has won each of its last zero. The Roadrunners made it two in a row after a 30-21 win over UTEP last week. Cordale Grundy completed 20-of-35 passes for only 187 yards and two touchdowns. Jalen Rhodes (17 yards on 10 rush attempts) led the running attack in the win. Greg Campbell Jr. (four receptions, 61 yards) and Kirk Johnson Jr. (four catches, 26 yards) handled the receiving duties.
One week ago, Wake Forest knocked off this Rice team by a score of 56-24. The Owls defense allowed the Demon Deacons to eat up the clock by rushing for 171 yards on 41 attempts, including two rush TDs. Greg Dortch was a force to be reckoned with, putting up 163 yards and four touchdowns on 11 catches for Wake Forest. For Rice, Shawn Stankavage completed 17-of-32 passes for 103 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Austin Walter had a monster statline. In addition to 165 rushing yards on 18 attempts (and one TD), Walter also reeled in five catches for 32 yards and one TD.
UTSA has run the ball on 47.7 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Rice has an overall rush percentage of 56.8 percent. The Roadrunners have run for 95.8 yards per game and have three scores via handoffs this year. The Owls are averaging 201.6 rush yards per game and have six total rushing TDs.
If 2018 results are any indication, then it seems like the Owls ought to hold an edge when it comes to applying pressure. Their offensive line has yielded just six sacks while the D-line has logged seven sacks. The Roadrunners O-line has given up 16 sacks and their defense has created only 14 sacks.
The Roadrunners offensive scheme has tallied 169.2 yards/contest in the air overall and has six passing TDs so far. The Owls have recorded 181.2 pass yards per contest and have nine total pass scores.
UTSA should possess the upper hand in both defensive phases. The team’s allowed opponents to rush for an average of 140.2 yards and throw for 258.0 yards per game. The Rice defense has allowed 310.8 yards per game to opposing passers and 173.6 yards per game on the ground. The Roadrunners are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of 9.19 to opposing QBs, while the Owls have given up a staggering 11.97 ANY/A.
Stankavage has managed to complete 64-of-109 passes for 649 yards, seven TDs and four INTs for Rice. His adjusted net yards per pass attempt sits at 5.03 for the season and 2.21 over his last two games. In the other locker room, Grundy has amassed 639 passing yards on the year, and has connected on 68-of-124 attempts with four passing touchdowns and two interceptions. Grundy’s got a 4.01 ANY/A, including 4.89 over the last two games.
When these two squads met last year, UTSA earned the win 20-7.
UTSA Roadrunners vs. Rice Owls NCAA Pick
SU Winner: UTSA, ATS Winner: UTSA, O/U: Over
Team Betting Notes
- The UTSA defense has twice as many sacks as Rice this year (14 to seven).
- Rice has lost two fumbles in 2018 while the UTSA offense has let five get away.
- The Roadrunners offense has produced zero pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Owls have accounted for one such play.
- The UTSA defense has allowed four pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Rice has given up 10 such plays.
- The UTSA offense has created four rushing plays of 20+ yards, while Rice has created 16 such runs.
- The Roadrunners defense has allowed five rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Owls have given up six such runs.
- Rice was favored by 28 points in its previous outing and the O/U was 67. The over cashed and Rice failed to cover in the 56-24 defeat to Wake Forest.
- Over its last three matchups, Rice is 1-2 ATS and the over cashed in each of those three.
- In its last three matches, UTSA is 0-3 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
- UTSA was favored by 11 points in its last game and the O/U was set at 47. The over cashed and UTSA failed to cover in the 30-21 victory over UTEP.
- UTSA, as a team, has rushed for 3.64423076923077 yards per attempt over its past three contests and 3.6 over its last two.
- Rice has averaged 4.9 yards per carry over its last three matchups and 5.5 over its past two.