2013 Liberty Bowl: Will Rice win outright vs. Mississippi State as an underdog? Print
Written by Trev Rogers   
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 11:00

Will Rice win outright vs. Miss State?

rice liberty bowl predictions odds point spreads trends mississippi state

LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - Rice picked up its first outright conference title since 1957 with a victory in the Conference-USA championship game against Marshall, who just man-handled Maryland in the Armed Forces Bowl.

View Trev Rogers' Expert Picks

Rice faces a Mississippi State team that needed to pull out overtime victories in their final two games versus Arkansas and Ole Miss to gain bowl eligibility.

Obviously playing in the SEC can be brutal for MSU. Their six losses this season were against nationally ranked opponents: Oklahoma State, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Alabama. Quarterback Dak Prescott returned late in the regular season finale win over rival Ole Miss after a 2 game absence due to a nerve injury in his non-throwing shoulder and will be healthy for their matchup with Rice.

Rice coach David Baliff was named Conference USA coach of the year and could be setting himself up for a quick jump up the coaching ladder with a quality win over a SEC opponent. Rice will need continued success on the ground from running back Charles Ross, who has rushed for 1,252 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. The running game will allow Rice to run some clock and control tempo in the game. Seeing the over-under set around 50 points, hints to me that the oddsmakers believe Rice will have some success on the ground. I am sure the public bettor is salivating over this total since we have seen Miss State and Rice give up over 50 points in a game this season, along with scoring 50+ points.

I am very surprised to read so many so called experts state that Rice will not be able to hang with Miss State. Rice was within 10 points of Texas A&M in 4th quarter of their matchup this season, along with playing a very talented Houston team down to the wire in a 31-26 loss. MSU’s defense is obviously their weak point. It seems like people may be focusing on how well their defense played in the final 2 contests…..big mistake! Rice has proven they can run if they want to or get into a shoot out if necessary. I just can not see the Miss State defense shutting down Rice offensively, no matter what the pace of the game turns out to be.

PREDICTION:

I expect both teams to have offensive success, but as I stated earlier, the ground game for each squad will lead to scoring. I expect a close fourth quarter battle with Rice winning 27-24. A major advantage for Rice and bettors backing the Owls, is senior kicker Chris Boswell. He hit 14 FG’s this season (23 last year), with a long of 56 yards.

Betting Trends:

RICE:

Owls are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.

Owls are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games.

Owls are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.

Owls are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games overall.

Owls are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games following a ATS win.Owls are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a S.U. win.
Owls are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after scoring more than

40 points in their previous game.

Mississippi State

Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.

Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.

Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.

Bulldogs are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. win.

Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.

TOTAL TRENDS

RICE

Under is 5-0 in Owls last 5 neutral site games.

Under is 6-2 in Owls last 8 games following a ATS win.

Under is 6-2 in Owls last 8 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.

Over is 60-27 in Owls last 87 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.

Mississippi State

Under is 4-0 in Bulldogs last 4 neutral site games.

Under is 6-1 in Bulldogs last 7 games overall.

Under is 9-2 in Bulldogs last 11 non-conference games.

Over is 4-1 in Bulldogs last 5 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.

Under is 4-1 in Bulldogs last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.

Under is 6-2 in Bulldogs last 8 games on fieldturf.

Under is 25-10-1 in Bulldogs last 36 games following a S.U. win.Under is 7-3-1 in Bulldogs last 11 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.

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