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Free Football Picks: Rice Hosts North Texas in Conference USA Clash

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Oskeim Sports’ previews the North Texas/Rice college football game as one of its free football picks for Saturday, November 25.

Rice is 5-1 ATS in its last six November affairs and the players should be fired up to play well for their beloved head coach, David Bailiff, who is rumored to be moving on after such a disappointing season.

The Owls are a profitable 11-3-1 ATS in season finales, including 7-1 ATS at home and 5-0 ATS with revenge. Meanwhile, North Texas arrives in town off a thrilling 52-49 win over Army in which the Mean Green were outgained (and benefited from an egregious clock error that avoided an Army touchdown.

North Texas also has the Conference USA Championship game on deck next week (vs. Florida Atlantic) so Saturday’s game against the lowly Owls is meaningless. Let’s also note that the Mean Green are a money-burning 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS on the road versus avenging foes, whereas coach Bailiff has led the Owls to nine consecutive wins (7-2 ATS) on Senior Day.

The ‘buy’ sign for me occurred after Rice’s near-upset over Old Dominion last week, which came on the heels of the Owls nearly upsetting Southern Mississippi as double-digit underdogs. Rice has played a more difficult schedule and has a lot more to play for in its season finale.

Last week’s win over Army proved costly for North Texas as they lost its #1 running back in Jeffery Wilson (ankle), who has rushed for 1,125 yards at 6.5 yards per carry with sixteen touchdowns. Wilson was also a good receiver out of the backfield, garnering 24 receptions for 168 yards in 2017.

The Mean Green will also be without one of its best wide receivers in Jalen Guyton, who suffered a concussion last week and is doubtful to suit up on Saturday. The 6-1 sophomore had 47 receptions for 758 yards at 16.1 yards per catch this season before sustaining a concussion.

North Texas possesses subpar defense that is allowing 41.0 points and 492 total yards at 6.4 yards per play and 12.0 yards per point on the road this season. In short, the Mean Green’s defense is not capable of bailing out their injury-riddled offense.

Rice has played a more difficult schedule and I expect Bailiff to earn his tenth straight win on Senior Day. With North Texas standing at 8-16 ATS on the road, grab the points with the Owls as one of Oskeim Sports’ free football picks for Saturday, November 25.

Free Football Picks for Saturday, November 25:

  • Rice (+12.5) over North Texas
  • South Carolina (+14) over Clemson
  • North Carolina (+16.5) over North Carolina State

Be sure to visit Oskeim’s Blog daily for more free football picks.