Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian open the 2023 regular season at home at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Sep. 2 against the Rice Owls, with the kickoff time set for 2:30 p.m. CT. Rice looks overmatched against No. 11 ranked Texas at home at DKR in Austin on paper.
But Sark and the Longhorns won’t take any opponent lightly before the massive Week 2 non-conference showdown in Tuscaloosa against the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide and head coach Nick Saban. Texas needs to ensure it’s buttoned up on both sides of the ball and shakes off the rust coming out of the offseason against Rice in the opener this weekend.
Texas comes into this matchup after posting a record of 8-5 (6-3 Big 12) last season. Sark and Texas improved its record by three wins year over year after winning just five games during his first year as the Longhorns’ head coach in 2021.
Meanwhile, head coach Mike Bloomgren and the Owls posted a record of 5-8 (3-5 C-USA) last season. Rice enters the American Athletic Conference this season after nearly two decades of competing in Conference-USA.
Here’s a look at the betting odds and game prediction as No. 11 Texas hosts Rice at DKR in Austin to open the 2023 season on Sep. 2, with the kickoff time set for 2:30 p.m. CT.
Texas football vs. Rice: Odds for Week 1 2023
Texas is a 35-point favorite over Rice in this game, and the over/under is set at 59 points (per Caesers Sportsbook).
The spread and over/under haven’t moved since the opening odds for this game earlier this week.
The moneyline favors Texas (-15000) heavily over Rice (+2200).
According to the ESPN matchup predictor, Texas has a 97.1 percent chance of beating Rice.
Texas football vs. Rice prediction
The betting odds probably don’t do a good job illustrating what the final score will be between Texas and Rice this weekend. Texas has plenty of motivation to keep its foot on the gas against Rice, even with the backups potentially getting reps in the second half of this game.
Rice is overmatched in essentially every matchup on both sides of the ball. The only way Rice should be able to put up points on Texas is when three-time transfer quarterback JT Daniels gets to face the second and third-team Longhorns’ defense later in the game.
Texas should come out of the opener with a win over Rice by a margin of at least 40 or 50 points.