College football Betting Tip of the Day SMU at Rice 08-29-08

Aug 29, 2008 7:36 PM

by GT Staff | SMU at Rice (-3, 74) (ESPN, 8ET/5PT): Last year these two teams played a 43-42 barnburner, won by Rice (6-point favorite). If these two teams scored 85 points without June Jones present, imagine the fireworks now with the former Hawaii head man bringing his run-and-shoot offense to the lower 48.

At quarterback, the Owls feature Chase Clement, a player who has played significantly better now that Rice has ditched its wishbone offense in favor of the spread. Clement is ranked as the C-USAs top signal-caller by many in the media. The best running back in the league, Damion Fletcher, plays for SMU and will be the focus of the Owls defense tonight in Houston.

The trends in this game heavily favor Rice, which has covered 5 of 6 against the Mustangs and 6 of the last 8 in this rivalry. At home, the Owls are a perfect 6-0 the last six meetings.

Being the first game of the new season, expect both teams to be a little tight and with the total set so high, lets try and pick the side. That side has to be Rice, which will surely endure a long season if it were to lose to SMU in their home opener. And buy the half-point if its 3 just to be safe. RICE -3.