Two very capable offenses in Rice and Southern Miss are hit with just a measly 46.5 total points. Our LendingTree Bowl betting tips and predictions explain why this number should be cleared on Saturday.
Bowl season is in full swing and Saturday’s LendingTree Bowl between the 5-7 Rice Owls and 6-6 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles should be a fun affair.
Conference USA representative Rice is trying to shake off a three-game losing streak, while Sun Belt member Southern Mississippi broke a three-game losing streak of their own with a final win over Lousiana-Monroe.
Who will be crowned the LendingTree Bowl Champion? Read our Rice vs. Southern Mississippi college football picks and predictions below to find out.
Rice vs. Southern Mississippi best odds
Rice vs Southern Mississippi tips and predictions
In a game where both sides get tickled pink just for being here, my best bet is this matchup going over 46.5 points.
The owls’ offense is more than appropriate. Though they lead the country in turnovers, they’re averaging 25 points per game and face a southern Mississippi defense that allows 23.5 points per game but is 12th in games for 20 yards (63) in Sun Belt action .place occupied.
Junior quarterback TJ McMahon leads the Owls but missed their season finale. He threw it for 2,102 yards with 18 touchdowns, but 14 interceptions are also part of the package. When McMahon doesn’t pass, fresh QB AJ Padgett has proven capable with 229 passing yards and a TD against North Texas.
Rice has three wideouts with great playing potential in Bradley Rozner, Luke McCaffrey, and Isaiah Esdal, who combined for 1,951 yards and 15 TDs. Rozner is averaging 20 yards per reception, and while McCaffrey missed the season finale, he should be ready to go Sunday.
Golden Eagles running back Frank Gore Jr. is one of the best in the country, rushing for 1,053 yards with seven TDs and also throwing a TD pass in each of his last three games. He should be eating against a defense that allows 168 rushing yards per game.
The situation with the quarterback around the Southern Miss revolving door appears to have resolved itself. Trey Lowe started and played the entire game in his win over UL Monroe while throwing for 170 yards and a TD with 62% accuracy. He has a trio of steady hands in wideouts Jason Brownlee, Tiaquelin Mims and Jakarius Caston, totaling 1,537 receiving yards and 13 TD receiving.
Rice had injury and turnover problems that prevented a high-scoring offense from taking off. The turnovers are what they are, but Rice is at least healthier and should be able to move the ball and score against the Golden Eagles.
Southern Miss tends to give up the big game, and Rice has a handful of playmakers who can break through that defense. Meanwhile, Gore should have a field day against a less-than-strong Owls rushing defense, with his success ultimately leading to downfield passes.
These teams will struggle and traditionally play close games, but that 45.5 aggregate score is too low for this competition. Pull the over back.
my best bet: Over 45.5 (-110 at Pinnacle)
Best College Football Bonuses
Want to bet on bowl season action? Here are two of the best bonuses available*:
A) New users at FanDuel can make an uncomplicated first bet up to $1,000! Join Now
B) New users at DraftKings can wager and get $5 $150 in free bets! Join Now
*Eligible US locations only. Also check out our full list of college football promo codes for 2022.
Spread Analysis of Rice vs. Southern Mississippi
College football odds have Southern Miss listed as a 6.5 point favorite and I expect they will cover that number.
Gore is coming off his best game of the season — cutting ULM for 199 yards and points — and averaging 5.1 yards per carry this season. The Owls’ defense allows 4.9 yards per rush, and a big night here could establish itself as one of Heisman’s 2023 contenders.
The Owls aren’t a bad defensive football team, but turnovers have taken the Rice offense out of games they probably should have won, leaving the defense with a terrible field position to defend.
Winning games averaging 2.5 turnovers per game is challenging and even more complicated when faced with a defense like the Golden Eagles, who are averaging 1.6 takeaways per contest in 33rd place.
That season, Rice was 7-5 against the spread, facing a Southern Miss team that went 8-3-1 ATS. The Owls are 2-4 ATS in their last six matchups while the Golden Eagles are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six contests.
Includes college football betting tools
Rice vs Southern Mississippi Over/Under Analysis
Up until this season, these schools were both parts of C-USA and played each other each season. The Over went 3-3 in their last six meetings, but only 0-3 in their last three meetings.
Rice Junior RB Ari Broussard leads the Owls with nine rushing TDs but hasn’t played since losing two fumbles in an away loss to Lousiana Tech. Cameron Montgomery led Rice in rushing yards and rushed for 49 yards in the Owls’ loss to North Texas.
Junior RB Juma Otaviano rushed for 94 yards against the mean green. Southern Miss allows the 62nd-least rushing yards in the game, but both Rice Backs have big plays on their résumés and could hit a big run at any moment.
These teams are 15-9 in overs combined this season and I expect that to continue on Saturday.
Rice vs Southern Mississippi betting trends to explore
The over is 9-3 in the last 12 matches. Find more NCAA betting trends for Rice vs. Southern Mississippi.
Information about the game Rice vs. Southern Mississippi
|Location:||Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile, AL|
|Date:||Saturday 17 December 2022|
|Kicking off:||5:45 p.m. ET|
Rice v Southern Mississippi, recent injuries
Rice vs. Southern Mississippi Weather
Monitor game conditions with our college football weather information.