Best Prop Bets for Rice vs. Texas State in First Responder Bowl

LendingTree Bowl - Rice v Southern Miss
LendingTree Bowl - Rice v Southern Miss / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Rice and Texas State meet in the First Responder Bowl on Tuesday evening in a battle of two high-powered offenses.

The Owls will turn to backup AJ Padgett to start the second straight bowl game for the team, but is he in a strong spot to get the Rice passing game on going against an aggressive, but vulnerable Texas State defense?

Meanwhile, can the Bobcats' high-powered offense keep it rolling on Tuesday in the team's first bowl game in program history? I'm looking at high-powered running back Ismail Mahdi in the player prop market.

Keep reading for my three favorite prop bets to make in the First Responder Bowl:

Best Prop Bets for Rice vs. Texas State in First Responder Bowl

  • AJ Padgett OVER 226.5 Passing Yards
  • Luke McCaffrey Anytime Touchdown Scorer
  • Ismail Mahdi OVER 100.5 Rushing Yards

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AJ Padgett OVER 226.5 Passing Yards

Padgett has played plenty this season, three times, including two wins to finish the season, passing for 255 in the season finale against Florida Atlantic. Further, Padgett played in the bowl game last year for Rice, passing for 295 in a losing effort against Southern Mississippi.

This should be a plus matchup for the Owls passing game against Texas State, who is outside the top 120 in terms of EPA/Pass this season. The unit brings a ton of pressure, racking up 102 tackles for loss (second most in the country), but is 109th in explosive pass defense.

Further, Texas State is top 10 in terms of plays per minute, so there should be plenty of possessions in this game, giving Padgett plenty of opportunities to clear this mark.

Luke McCaffrey Anytime Touchdown Scorer

McCaffrey has hauled in 12 passing touchdowns this season, including one in each game that Padgett started this season.

This is going to be a high-scoring affair, the total is hovering around 60, so there are expected to be plenty of touchdowns, and it's clear that McCaffrey gets the attention of the passing game. Texas State has been prone to playing in shootouts, a team has scored 35 or more in seven of 12 games this season, so I'll take McCaffey to find pay dirt at reasonable odds.

Ismail Mahdi OVER 100.5 Rushing Yards

Mahdi is a walking big play, averaging well over six yards per carry this season en route to 1,240 yards on the ground.

The Rice strength is in the secondary, the unit is 40th in EPA/Pass and 65th in EPA/Rush, and the defensive line isn't too stout, just 72nd in tackles for loss and defensive line yards.

This should set up for a big game from the Bobcats running back.

The Bobcats are 18th in offensive line yards and are constantly seeking big plays, 37th in yards per carry, and 16th in explosive rush rate. While Mahdi only cleared this mark in three games this season, the team has force-fed him and I'll count on a monster output in the bowl game. The sophomore running back has rushed the ball at least 14 times in all but the first three games of the season.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!