College football betting fans will have their choice of a traditional power and perennial national title contender against a weak non-BCS commodity to bet on college football with.
Texas opened at Sports-Gambling.com as a 28.5-point favorite with kickoff on ESPN at 3:35 PM Eastern. The game will be played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, home of the NFL Texans.
Texas will have a significant new look as 4-year starting quarterback Colt McCoy is gone and will be replaced by sophomore Garrett Gilbert, who had to replace McCoy after he went down to injury in the BCS Championship Game loss to Alabama. Gilbert is reported to have a stronger arm than McCoy and no drop-off is expected.
That being said the Longhorns will have 6 new starters on an offense that averaged over 40 points per game the past 2 seasons. The defense returns 7 starters for highly respected coordinator and head coach in waiting Will Muschamp.
Rice suffered a significant NCAA betting drop-off last year as they finished 2-10 after a 10-3 mark in 2008. That continued a feast or famine type of run by 4th year coach David Bailiff who began his career with a 3-9 mark after taking over for a team that went 7-6.
If the trend continues this means that Rice should be back up in 2010 and with 10 starters returning on both sides of the line that is the expectation.
Gilbert recovered after a shaky start in last year’s 37-21 loss to Alabama as he passed for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns in the second half and got the Horns within 3 points before the Crimson Tide put the game away. There will be a lot of pressure on Gilbert as the program has won at least 10 games per year for 9 consecutive seasons.
Head coach Mack Brown knows refuses to say that Texas is in a rebuilding or transition year with the college football odds.
“I don’t like that word,” said Brown. “Because it gives the kids and the coaches an excuse not to be good.”
Rice has a college football betting mark of just 10-22 against the spread in non conference action since 2002 and was clobbered by Texas 52-10 as 29-point dogs in their last matchup in 2008.