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Texas State vs Rice Picks, Odds Expect Plenty of Points

Updated:2024-05-03 04:14    Views:123

Texas State Bobcats vs Rice Owls OddsDecember 265:30 p.m. ETESPNTexas State Bobcats OddsPoint SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline-3.5-11059-110o / -110u-165Rice Owls OddsPoint SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline+3.5-11059-110o / -110u+140Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

It's time to take a look at the Texas State vs. Rice odds and make a pick for Tuesday's First Responder Bowl.

Welcome to the 2023 First Responder Bowl in Dallas. We've got the Texas State Bobcats taking on the Rice Owls at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in a battle between teams that are not accustomed to playing in bowl season.

The story for the Owls is that quarterback JT Daniels medically retired Dec. 1 because of a shoulder injury that kept him out for the majority of the season. AJ Padgett, who accumulated some decent numbers down the stretch, will remain under center.

On the other side, G.J. Kinne's Bobcats are certainly going to be fired up to play in their first bowl game in program history, especially in their home state of Texas.

So, what's the best bet for Texas State vs. Rice? Let's dive in.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.Texas State Bobcats

The story of this Bobcats team was their offensive production. Quarterback TJ Finley had a tremendous season, throwing for 3,287 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Running back Ismail Mahdi was sensational all year as well, running for 1,209 yards and 10 scores on the ground. This offense proved it could beat opponents in multiple ways, which is what it will be looking to show in this matchup.

Texas State ranked top-20 in Offensive Line Yards, Rushing Success Rate and Passing Success Rate. The Bobcats were also spectacular at Finishing Drives, which was a big reason why their offense was so successful.

There aren't many notable names that hit to the portal for Texas State, but there are a couple of injuries worth monitoring. Starting left guard Dorion Strawn and wide receiver Joey Hobert did not play in the season finale, so it'll be interesting to see if they suit up for this contest.

If Strawn plays, that will be a huge lift for this Bobcats rushing attack. Regardless, I would expect them to establish the run early with their high-tempo offense facing a mediocre Owls run defense.

Finley will be put to the test against a stingy Owls secondary, so the Bobcats will need to capitalize in the red zone considering the Owls come in at 44th in Defensive Finishing Drives.

This Texas State team was solid in the trenches all season, and the Owls don't have much success running the ball either. The Bobcats' rank of 110th in PFF tackling should help in that area as well.

The problem for Texas State is that the Owls thrived through the air even without Daniels, and this is a vulnerable Bobcats secondary.

I trust Texas State's offense to remain explosive, but I have legitimate questions about its ability to contain the aerial attack.

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Rice Owls

I touched on this above, but I think the Owls will be slinging it all over the field on Tuesday.

While it has been tough to run the ball against the Bobcats' defensive front, their secondary has been exposed all year long. This might not be a fast-paced game, but the Owls should be able to keep up throughout. If Padgett protects the football, he could have a big day.

Just like the Bobcats, there are no notable opt-outs for the Owls either.

The one area where I have legitimate concerns for Rice is its ability to prevent Havoc, as it ranked 108th in Havoc Allowed. That's not ideal when going up against a good defensive front, so the Bobcats could be playing in the backfield all evening.

Rice's defensive strength lies in the secondary, thanks to its excellent ability to tackle and cover. The Owls finished top-55 in both PFF coverage and tackle grading throughout the year.

I have a good feeling about the Owls offense in this game, but I have some questions about their defense holding up against this fast-paced Bobcats offense.

Texas State vs Rice

Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Texas State and Rice match up statistically:

Texas State Offense vs. Rice DefenseOffenseDefenseEdgeRush Success1966Line Yards1772Pass Success1335Havoc8763Finishing Drives2344Quality Drives3889Rice Offense vs. Texas State DefenseOffenseDefenseEdgeRush Success6044Line Yards9247Pass Success28105Havoc10018Finishing Drives1157Quality Drives74120Pace of Play / OtherPFF Tackling11056PFF Coverage6655Special Teams SP+39121Middle 889110Seconds per Play23.6 (12)30.6 (128)Rush Rate54.9% (61)46.8% (112)Data via, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.Texas State vs Rice

Betting Pick & Prediction

I feel much more comfortable targeting the total instead of backing either side here, and this is a great game to take the over.

I trust the Bobcats offense more than the Owls, but Padgett could easily have a career day against this horrific Texas State secondary. The spread seems to be about right, but these offenses are bound to have plenty of success.

What really sold me on the over is the ability of both teams to finish drives. Both offenses rank top-25 in that area, and while Texas State has done a decent job of keeping opponents out of the end zone, I have a feeling the Bobcats' secondary is going to let them down in a big way.

Expect both of these offenses to battle it out. We should be in for a high-scoring affair in Dallas.

Pick: Over 59.5 (Play to 60.5)

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