East Carolina vs Rice Prediction - College Football Picks 9/30/23

Rice Owls (2-2) vs East Carolina Pirates (1-3)

Game Info: Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 7:00 pm (Rice Stadium)

Betting Odds: Rice Owls -3.5 -- Over/Under: 46.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The East Carolina Pirates will play the Rice Owls in an AAC game on Saturday night at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. East Carolina got their first win of the season last week, while Rice lost their first conference game in Week 4. 

East Carolina Preview

The East Carolina Pirates are 1-3 this season after they defeated Gardner-Webb by a score of 44-0 in their last game. East Carolina dominated this game from start to finish and led 23-0 at the half. The Pirates out gained their opponent by a total of 366-107 and forced five turnovers in the win. East Carolina started their season with three straight losses to Michigan, Marshall, and Appalachian State. The ECU offense is scoring 23.5 points per game with 150 passing yards per game and 132.5 rushing yards per game, while going 36.4% on third down attempts. Alex Flinn has thrown for 365 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions for the Pirates this season. Mason Garcia has also played some quarterback, throwing for 234 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions, while also rushing for 178 yards and one touchdown this year. Rahjai Harris has rushed for 171 yards and three scores, while Jaylen Johnson has caught 16 passes for 178 yards. The ECU defense is allowing 26 points against per game and has allowed at least 28 points to all three FBS teams they have played. 

Rice Preview

The Rice Owls are 2-2 (0-1) this season after they lost to South Florida by a score of 42-29 in their last game. Rice led 14-13 at the half, but allowed South Florida to score 29 points in the second half for the win. The Owls were out gained by a total of 597-492, but did go 4-5 on fourth down attempts in the loss. Rice opened the season with a loss to Texas, but won two games in a row against Houston and Texas Southern. The Rice offense is scoring 35.3 points per game with 323.8 passing yards per game and 82 rushing yards per game, while going 44.6% on third down conversions this season. JT Daniels (questionable) has thrown for 1,237 yards, 11 touchdowns, and three interceptions for the Owls this year. Dean Connors has rushed for 139 yards and one touchdown, while Luke McCaffrey has caught 20 passes for 370 yards and four scores. The Rice defense is giving up 31.8 points against per game and has allowed 37, 41, and 42 points against three FBS opponents this year. 

Rice Owls Team Facts

  • Rice has won each of its last five September games at Rice Stadium.
  • Rice has covered the spread in each of its last four home games in September.
  • Rice has lost the first half in three of its last four games against conference opponents at Rice Stadium.
  • Each of Rice's last six games as a favorite have gone OVER the total points line.

East Carolina Pirates Team Facts

  • East Carolina has lost seven of its last eight September games as an underdog.
  • The favorite has covered the spread in four of East Carolina's last five games.
  • Each of East Carolina's last three road games against non-AP-ranked teams have gone OVER the total points line.

Matchup/League Facts

  • East Carolina ranked T27th among FBS teams for Q4 points allowed per game last season (5.3).
  • East Carolina ranked T28th among FBS teams for Q2 points per game last season (10.2).

Pick

Rice comes into this game with a 2-2 record and they surprised some people with their win against Houston earlier in the season. East Carolina has lost all three of their games played against FBS opponents and they will be on the road for this game. Both of these defenses leave a lot to be desired, so I think we are going to see a higher scoring game here. I like the over in this matchup. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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