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Rice Owls at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers - 9/1/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Rice Owls (5-7) at WKU Hilltoppers (12-2)

College Football: Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 8:00 pm (L.T. Smith Stadium)

The Line: WKU Hilltoppers -16 -- Over/Under: 64 See the Latest Odds

TV: CBSSN

LT Smith Stadium and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers host the Rice Owls on opening day.

There are several top tier squads in the CUSA and if the Rice Owls are going to compete with them both sides of the ball are going to have to up their game. Offensively, Tyler Stehling takes over under center with 320 passing yards from 2015. If Stehling proves to be a competent passer, the Owls have receiving options with Temi Alaka, Zach Wright, Parker Smith and Lance Wright among others able to give the air game credibility.  Rice should be set on the ground with Darik Dillard and Jowon Davis running behind an offensive line that has experience. 

Rice Owls at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers - 9/1/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

Fans know the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers but the funny thing is most only talk about the loss of quarterback Brandon Doughty and not the loads of talent that is coming back. Of course, former South Florida quarterback Mike White is not an unknown and he has weapons aplenty around him. Receiver Taywan Taylor could give the Hilltoppers 1,400+ yards with Nicholas Morris and Nacarius Fant projected as the opening day starters. Anthony Wales and D’Andre Ferby give WKY a potent ground game especially with the entire offensive line in tack. (I assume RB Leon Allen is out)

The over is 6-0 in Owls last 6 games in September and the Owls are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games while going 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Hilltoppers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall and are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games while the Hilltoppers are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 conference games. Points aplenty?

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under 64

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