Rice Owls vs. LSU Tigers Betting Pick
Rice Owls (1-10 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. No. 7 LSU Tigers (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS)
NCAA Football Week 11
Date/Time: Saturday November 17th, 2018. 12:00PM (EST)
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
Point Spread:RICE +44/LSU -44
Over/Under Total: 51
Last week I warned bettors that the LSU Tigers were on upset alert, after a disappointing loss to Alabama, despite facing an Arkansas team that has now lost 8 of their last 9 games. Luckily for bettors that followed the advice, Arkansas was able to hang with LSU in a surprisingly close game. Fortunately for LSU fans, the Tigers were able to pull out the 24-17 victory to improve to 8-2 on the season and at least stay in the College Football Playoff discussion. This week the Tigers will have an opportunity to put another W in the win column when they host the Rice Owls inside Tiger Stadium as huge 44 point favorites.
Rice owns title as College Football’s “worst” team
Just in case you were not familiar with the 2018 Owls football team, I would legitimately call them the worst FBS team in college football. The Owls currently own the nation’s longest losing streak at 10 straight losses, a title they inherited following their loss to a 0-8 SU UTEP team which previously held the longest losing streak in the FBS. Last week, the Owls had one of their better performances of the season but still fell short in a 28-13 loss to Louisiana Tech in a game that was plagued with turnovers from the Rice offense.
It’s not just the losing streak or the types of losses that makes Rice one of the worst teams in college football. The statistics also prove the point as well. The Owls defense has given up 37 points per game while relinquishing 441 yards per game. Meanwhile, on the offensive side of the football, Rice has produced just 19 points per game while racking up a measly 324 yards per game. All of those stats rank outside the top 100 with nearly all among the 10 worst teams in the football. Therefore, there has not been many signs of hope on either side of the football, and that is the big reason the Owls are 44 point dogs against an LSU offense that has been very mediocre throughout the year.
The case for LSU
At first glance, I would almost take any opponent getting 44 points against LSU. The Tigers offense simply has not produced enough to warrant any huge line as they are getting this weekend. In fact, the LSU offense averages just 26.7 points per game. Of course, LSU does play a different caliber of opponents on a weekly basis, and that is the biggest reason I can see potentially laying the points this week despite the huge spread. From a talent, size, and speed standpoint, LSU poses an unworldly presence towards Rice this weekend. LSU’s offense has a bully type mentality in the trenches where they can stand ground with anyone. The offensive front should dominate this game and pave the way for running back Nick Brossette who will likely have a huge afternoon.
Meanwhile, this Owls defense has enough blown coverages and blown assignments that it could even open the door for quarterback Joe Burrow to take shots down the field. The passing game has been non-existent in recent weeks, but this will be the perfect opportunity to regain some confidence as LSU looks to score with every touch of the football. Not only will LSU hold the big upside in match-ups on each side of the ball, but the question must also be asked; will Rice continue to show fight if they go down 20-30 points? For a team that has hit rock bottom, it seems like a legitimate concern.
Rice vs. LSU betting trends
Despite the Owls pitfall, they have been decent against the spread covering 3 of their last 4 games. The Owls have also covered the mark in 5 of their last 7 road trips as well. Meanwhile, LSU has not shown many trends as they have tread near the .500 mark ATS for most of the season. The Tigers have been better at home where they have covered 7 of their last 10 games.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I pose a similar question as I did last week with LSU. Even in a dominate match-up, what is LSU playing for? I have a hard time seeing the Tigers light up the scoreboard especially with an early kick. I did my homework, and LSU has failed to cover each of the 3 times they have been favored by 40 points going back to 2015. I am betting the trend continues and hopefully, the offense does not come to life. Take Rice +44