Nov 12, 2022; Conway, South Carolina, USA; Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles running back Frank Gore Jr. (3) breaks a tackle in the third quarter against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Brooks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports
- The Southern Miss Golden Eagles are 6.5 favorites over the Rice Owls in the LendingTree Bowl on Saturday, December 17 in Mobile, Alabama
- Rice is 8-4 against the spread in the past 12 games against Southern Mississippi
- The Golden Eagles are 9-3 ATS so far this season
Often, bowl game opponents are unfamiliar with each other, but that’s not going to be the case as the Rice Owls (5-7, 7-5 ATS) and Southern Miss Golden Eagles (6-6, 9-3 ATS) clash in the LendingTree Bowl.
The Owls and Golden Eagles were both Conference USA members from 2005-2021. Prior to the 2022 season, Southern Miss, Marshall and Old Dominion all left C-USA for the Sun Belt Conference.
Oddsmakers are setting the Golden Eagles as 6.5-point favorites over the Owls for this game. Southern Miss is 5-2 straight up in the last seven games against Rice, but the Owls were winners in the two most recent meetings.
Rice vs Southern Miss Odds
|Rice Owls||+6.5 (-110)||O 48 (-110)||+260|
|Southern Miss Golden Eagles||-6.5 (-110)||U 48 (-110)||-335|
Odds as of December 14 at Caesars Sportsbook. See the available Caesars Sportsbook bonus code here.
The kickoff for this game at Hancock Whitney Stadium is set at 5:45 pm ET on Saturday, December 17. The weather forecast is calling for rain, 2 mph wind and a temperature of 49 degrees. Broadcast of the game is being carried by ESPN.
Rice vs Southern Miss Betting Trends
In the CFB public betting splits, the people are strongly on board with the Golden Eagles in both spread and moneyline wagering. In spread betting, there’s 93% of handle and 78% of bets going with Southern Miss. As well, the moneyline splits are leaning 56% in handle and 68% of bets for the Golden Eagles.
There’s also difference of opinions on the total of 46.5 points. Public handle is siding with the under at 67%. However, the bets are going 67% in favor of the over.
The over has hit in four of the last five Southern Miss games and in 12 of Rice’s last 16 games. As well, nine of the last 12 meetings between the Golden Eagles and Owls went over.
Rice is 7-5 SU all-time in bowl games, while Southern Miss is 11-10.
Owls On Three-Game Losing Skid
Being good students is what is getting the Owls into their first bowl game since 2014. Rice finished 5-7. Normally, NCAA teams need to be at least 6-6 to be bowl eligible.
However, this season only 79 FBS schools won six games. The final three of the 82 available bowl berths were awarded to the 5-7 teams with the highest academic progress rates. Rice’s APR of .994 out of a possible 1.000 was the highest among the 5-7 schools. The APR measures student-athlete eligibility and retention.
Owls Take Flight To @LT_Bowl!
Visit https://t.co/mlc4ot6fkU for more info!
— Rice Football (@RiceFootball) December 4, 2022
Rice comes into this game on a three-game losing skid. The season has proven to be a tale of two halves for the Owls. Rice was 3-3 SU and 5-1 ATS through the first six games of the 2022 campaign. In the second half of the regular season, the Owls were 2-4 both SU and ATS.
Owls quarterback TJ McMahon missed the last two regular-season games with an undisclosed injury. However, he’s expected to play in this game. While he’s thrown for 18 touchdowns this season, McMahon has also been picked off 14 times and lost two fumbles.
Golden Eagles Feature Son Of NFL Legend
Southern Miss halted a three-game slide with a regular-season ending 20-10 win over UL-Monroe to become bowl eligible. Running back Frank Gore Jr rambled for a career-high 199 yards and two TDs. Gore’s father ranks third all-time in NFL career rushing yardage.
Gore could have a field day running against the Owls. Rice’s defense is allowing 166.8 yards per game on the ground this season.
With a minimum of 10 pass attempts, the FBS player with the highest passer efficiency rating this season is…Frank Gore Jr!
The Southern Miss RB (you may know his dad) went 6-12 for 172 yds and 3 TD this season.
He also had 1,053 rush yds and 7 rush TD.
— Connor Groel (@ConnorGroel) December 6, 2022
Southern Mississippi’s signature win this season is a 27-24 victory over the eventual American Athletic Conference champion Tulane Green Wave on September 24. The Golden Eagles are 2-0 SU in bowl games played in Mobile, Alabama.
Rice vs Southern Mississippi Prediction
It all comes down to the start for the Owls. Rice can’t allow Southern Miss to get ahead on the scoreboard and then run the clock by pounding the rock with Gore.
This will be the 13th meeting between the two schools and the all-time series is deadlocked at 6-6. Rice is 4-2 ATS in the last six games against Southern Miss. The Owls have allowed an average of 40 points per game in their seven losses this season.
Pick: Rice Owls +6.5 (-110)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.