Western Kentucky @ Rice
Current Records: Western Kentucky 5-4; Rice 3-6
What to Know
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have enjoyed the comforts of home their last two games, but now they must head out on the road. The Hilltoppers and the Rice Owls will face off in a Conference USA battle at 2 p.m. ET Saturday at Rice Stadium. WKU won’t have the home-field advantage, but they do enjoy a 19-point advantage in the spread.
WKU entered their contest last week as the heavy favorite, and they fully lived up to the hype. They took their game against the Middle Tenn. Blue Raiders by a conclusive 48-21 score. The matchup was all but wrapped up at the end of the third, by which point WKU had established a 48-14 advantage. It was another big night for their QB Bailey Zappe, who passed for four TDs and 281 yards on 50 attempts in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown.
WKU’s defense was a force to be reckoned with, as it collected six interceptions and one fumble. DB Beanie Bishop picked up that interception and then proceeded to rub salt in the wound by taking it back the other way for a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Rice fought the good fight in their overtime matchup against the Charlotte 49ers last week but wound up with a less-than-desirable result, falling 31-24. QB Jake Constantine wasn’t much of a difference maker for the Owls; Constantine threw one interception.
The Rice defensive unit accumulated four sacks for a loss of 31 yards. It was a group effort with four guys contributing.
This next contest looks promising for the Hilltoppers, who are favored by a full 19 points. They have been consistent moneymakers against the spread when favored (4-2), so they might be worth a quick bet.
WKU’s victory brought them up to 5-4 while the Owls’ loss pulled them down to 3-6. Two defensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: WKU is 222nd worst in the nation in rushing touchdowns allowed, with 19 on the season. Rice has experienced some rushing struggles of their own as they are stumbling into the contest with the 243rd most rushing touchdowns allowed in the nation, having given up 25 on the season. It’s possible one of these Achilles’ heels will wind up tripping the losing team up.
How To Watch
The Hilltoppers are a big 19-point favorite against the Owls, according to the latest college football odds.
The oddsmakers were right in line with the betting community on this one, as the game opened as a 19-point spread, and stayed right there.
Western Kentucky have won both of the games they’ve played against Rice in the last seven years.
Sep 01, 2016 – Western Kentucky 46 vs. Rice 14Oct 03, 2015 – Western Kentucky 49 vs. Rice 10