A couple of schools that prefer to run the football, Miners (+6.5) are set to host their in-conference foe Rice Owls (-6.5) in Utep. This daytime matchup is scheduled to get going at 3:00 p.m. ET and ESPN 3 has the TV rights.
Rice vs. UTEP Betting Odds 11/30/2019
This CUSA game’s line is sitting at 6.5 points in favor of Rice. The Owls are currently getting -270 moneyline odds while the Miners are +210. The over/under is set at 44 points. If one team can catch a lucky break early, it will likely create a decent in-game betting opportunity.
The Owls are 2-9 straight up (SU), including 2-5 SU against conference opponents. The Miners are 1-10 SU overall and 0-7 SU in conference play. The Owls have lost 1.3 units so far and are 5-5-1 against the spread (ATS). The team has recorded an Over-Under mark of 5-6.
The Miners have been a disappointment to moneyline bettors this season, losing 5.2 units. They’re 3-7-1 ATS and have an O/U record of 6-5.
Rice enters this matchup on a zero-game winless skid while UTEP has won zero in a row. The Owls got their second W in as many tries after a 20-14 win over North Texas last week. Tom Stewart completed 17-of-27 passes for only 179 yards. Charlie Booker (78 yards on 22 rush attempts, one TD) led the running attack in the win. Austin Trammell (seven receptions, 91 yards) and Brad Rozner (five catches, 70 yards) shared the receiving duties.
On November 23, New Mexico State knocked off this UTEP team by a score of 44-35. The Miners defense allowed the Aggies to run for 259 yards on 25 rush attempts, including four rush TDs. Jason Huntley was on a different level for New Mexico State, recording 191 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 14 attempts. For UTEP, Kai Locksley completed 24-of-38 passes for 358 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Locksley (103 rushing yards on 18 attempts, one TD) and Treyvon Hughes (60 yards on 17 carries, one TD) spearheaded the ground game in the defeat as Tre’Shon Wolf (five receptions, 50 yards) and Justin Garrett (four catches, 101 yards, one TD) led the pass-catching corps.
Each of these teams sports a similar run-pass ratio on the season. Rice’s run the ball on 56.8 percent of its offensive possessions while UTEP has a rush percentage of 58.0. The Owls have rushed for 117 yards/game (including 126 per game versus Conference USA opponents) and have 11 touchdowns via handoffs this year. The Miners are putting up 142 rush yards per contest (126 in conference) and have 18 total rushing TDs.
The Owls have logged 171 yards per game in the air overall (172 per game against conference opposition) and have 12 passing TDs so far. The Miners have put up 189 pass yards per game (183.3 in the CUSA) and have eight total pass scores.
Defensively, Rice has allowed opponents to rush for an average of 142 yards and pass for 244 yards per game. UTEP has allowed 196.3 yards per game on the ground and 240 to opponents in the air. The Owls are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of 8.17 to opposing QBs, while the Miners have given up a staggering 8.9 ANY/A.
Stewart has amassed 717 passing yards on the year. He’s connected on 66-of-114 attempts with four passing touchdowns and one interception. Stewart has a 5.08 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 8.00 over the last two games.
Brad Rozner (621 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns this season), Austin Trammell (650 receiving yards, three receiving TDs) and Aston Walter (516 rush yards, six rush TDs, two TDs) have each played significant roles of late.
In the home locker room, Kai Locksley has accounted for 1,229 yards, five TDs and four INTs. Locksley’s ANY/A stands at 5.24 for the year and 6.24 over his last two outings.
Expect Locksley to distribute the football early and often in this one. Jacob Cowing (409 receiving yards and three receiving TDs this season), Justin Garrett (354 receiving yards, two receiving TDs), and Kai Locksley (zero receiving yards) have collectively notched 278 receiving yards and two TDs over the last couple of games.
These two teams faced off last year with the final outcome being a 34-26 victory for UTEP.
Rice Owls at UTEP Miners NCAA Prediction
SU Winner – Rice, ATS Winner – Rice, O/U – Under
The Owls offense has created four pass plays of 40+ yards, while the Miners have put up three such plays.
The Rice defense has allowed nine pass plays of 40+ yards, while UTEP has given up 10 such plays.
The Rice offense has created 11 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while UTEP has created 18 such runs.
The Owls defense has allowed 13 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Miners have given up 17 such runs.
The Rice defense has 14 sacks on the year while UTEP has 11.
Rice has averaged 3.5 yards per carry over its past three contests and 3.3 over its last two.
UTEP has averaged 4.4 yards per carry over its last three matchups and 4.2 over its last two.
Over its last three matchups, UTEP is 1-2 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
The O/U for Rice’s last game was 55. The under cashed in the team’s 20-14 win over North Texas.
In its last three matches, Rice is 2-1 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
The O/U for UTEP’s last outing was set at 55.5. The over cashed in the 44-35 defeat to New Mexico State.