UAB Blazers (4-3) at Rice Owls (2-2)
College Football: Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Rice Stadium)
The Line: Rice Owls +9 -- Over/Under: 45 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Rice Owls square off with the UAB Blazers Saturday in week 15 college football action from Rice Stadium.
UAB enters this one at 4-3 on the year. The Blazers have lost their last two games versus Louisiana and Louisiana Tech. As for Rice, they’re sitting at 2-2 this season. The Owls lost to North Texas a couple of weeks back but pulled off a great win over Marshall this past Saturday. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen UAB on the field, so let’s recap their season. The Blazers started out pretty well at 4-1 with wins over Central Arkansas, South Alabama, UTSA and Western Kentucky alongside a loss to Miami. Since then it’s been consecutive close loses, 24-20 to Louisiana and 37-34 in overtime against LA Tech way back on Halloween.
In the loss to the Bulldogs, UAB quarterback Bryson Lucero posted 66 yards and two interceptions, while Austin Watkins led the receivers on six catches for 95 yards. Spencer Brown (140 yards; 2 TD) and DeWayne McBride (133 yards; 2 TD) did most of the heavy lifting on the ground for the Blazers.
Over on the Rice side, it’s been an up-and-down season but they’re coming off a nice performance this past weekend. The Owls lost in OT to Middle Tennessee in their opener, then beat Southern Miss on Halloween. After that it was a 27-17 loss to North Texas and a great 20-0 shutout win over Marshall.
In the win over the Herd, Rice quarterback Jovani Johnson posted 86 yards on 10-of-14 passing, and Ari Broussard rushed 19 times for 62 yards. Jake Bailey notched 57 yards on seven receptions to lead the team there.
UAB is 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 after a straight-up loss and 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 on turf. The Blazers are 21-9-1 ATS in their last 31 conference games and 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games.
Meanwhile, Rice is 5-1 ATS in their last six in December and 5-2 ATS in their last seven overall. The Owls are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight after an ATS win and 5-2 ATS in their last seven conference games.
PICK: I’m going to go with Rice. It’s been so long since we’ve seen the Blazers on the field it’s difficult to know what to expect from them. That said, if the Owls turn in a great defensive performance like they did last weekend it’s going to be difficult for UAB to get anything going. Rice didn’t have great offensive numbers against Marshall in their last game, but did come up with five interceptions, capped by a 36-yard pick-six from Naeem Smith in the third quarter. It’ll be interesting to see how the Owls follow up that big game, but I like them on a cover.