Stanford vs. Rice Prediction
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Stanford is the heavy favorite in this game, as the Cardinal are getting odds of -30.5 points against Rice. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 51.5 points. These two met last season, with Stanford picking up a 41-17 win as a 34-point favorite. Today’s game will take place from Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia. The contest will air live on ESPN at 10PM ET.
Stanford is coming off a 10-3 record in the 2016 season, including a 6-3 mark in the Pac-12. The Cardinal were unbeaten in non-conference games. When it comes to the betting line, Stanford was 7-6 ATS in 2016. As usual, Stanford relied heavily on its defense last season. The Cardinal averaged 20.4 points and 369.4 yards allowed per game. They ranked in the top third of the country in most defensive stats. On offense, Stanford only put up 26.3 points and 367.1 yards per game. Stanford QB Keller Chryst is coming off a knee injury, but will go today. He threw for 905 yards and 10 touchdowns in limited actions last season. The Cardinal have a big hole to fill in the loss of Christian McCaffrey, who rushed for 1,603 yards and had 310 receiving yards last season. Stanford does bring back Bryce Love, who rushed for 779 yards and three scores a year ago.
Rice was just 3-9 last season while going 2-6 in conference play. The Owls were a little better at the betting window, posting a 6-5-1 mark against the spread. Rice had one of the worst defenses in the nation a year ago, allowing 37.3 points and 504.8 yards per game. Their pass defense gave up 287.7 yards per contest. Offensively, Rice only posted 25.2 points and 385.1 yards per contest. The Owls will be starting a first-time QB in Sam Glaesmann, a redshirt freshman. Not helping matters is that Rice has to replace three of its four leading receivers form 2016 as well. Rice does returns its leading rusher, Samuel Stewart, but he had just 479 yards in 2016.
Stanford isn’t a team that really looks to run up the score, but I think the Cardinal will be eager to showcase an improved offense from last year. Stanford is high on Chryst and he was impressive in his limited action in 2016. He will get an easy start by going up against this Rice defense. Rice is working in a new starting QB. That won’t go well against a Stanford team that has been a defensive power for nearly a decade.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: STANFORD -30.5