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How to watch Middle Tennessee vs. Rice and how the public is betting the game

The Rice Owls finally play their first game of 2020.

Brad Rozner of the Rice Owls makes a catch in front of Nick Harvey of the North Texas Mean Green for a key first down during the fourth quarter against the North Texas Mean Green at Rice Stadium on November 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Rice Owls will finally begin their 2020 season by hosting the 1-5 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. The matchup kicks off Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET with online streaming available on WatchESPN.

The Owls, who went 3-9 in 2019 and 3-5 within Conference USA, hope to improve on one of the worst offenses in all of college football. The unit finished 125th in the nation last year, averaging less than 18 points and 300 yards per game. Part of that relates to the team’s ball-control approach, but the results need to improve in order for Rice to have a chance to crack .500 in 2020.

The Blue Raiders, who finished last season 4-8, have not looked significantly different thus far in 2020. Entering Saturday’s game, they average a mere 22 points per game with the offense producing just 214 yards through the air and another 143.2 on the ground on a weekly basis. Those figures highlight the weaknesses at quarterback where junior Asher O’Hara has produced nearly as many interceptions (eight) as touchdowns (nine). O’Hara also leads the team with 407 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

Rice, favored by 3.5 points, has received 70% of the handle and 80% of the bets in terms of the spread. The Owls also have received 69% of the handle and 51% of the bets on their -175 moneyline. As for total points, 76% of the handle has come on under 51 while 67% of the bets have gone toward over 51.

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