Hawaii Bowl Pick: Hawaii vs. Louisiana Tech Pick
Point Spread:HAW +1 / LT -1
Power Ratings: Louisiana Tech -1
Takeaways From The Regular Season
Hawaii comes into the bowl game on their island a high note, defeating the always formidable San Diego State Aztecs in overtime pulling an upset outright as an 18-point underdog on November 24th. The Warriors edged out the Mountain West Power by a score of 31-30. All-in-all Hawaii has been the architect of several shocking upsets this season as they kicked off their 2018 campaign with an outright victory of Colorado State as a 17-point underdog. This was followed in Week 2 by another upset in Hawaii when they hosted Navy as a 13.5-point underdog.
The Bulldogs’ 2018 regular season seemed to skid out down the backstretch as they won just one contest in their last four fixtures. The best win on Louisiana Tech’s resume this season was a 29-27 upset of 2017 Conference USA runner-up North Texas on their own pitch when the Bulldogs were priced as a touchdown underdog on September 29th. Most recently, LT was defeated 30-15 on their own field by the visiting Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on November 24th. The Bulldogs were priced as a 10.5-point favorite in the aforementioned loss.
How the Public is Betting The SoFi Hawaii Bowl
At the moment, the consensus is down the middle regarding the two sides in this bowl game Presently, the Rainbow Warriors are seeing 52% of the public siding with them.
Over the last 18 years, the Rainbow Warriors and the Bulldogs have met on 10 occasions when both outfits were members of the now defunct Western Athletic Conference. Hawaii is 8-2 SU over this ten-game sample, and they have posted a 6-4 ATS record to complement this narrative. Most recently in 2011, Hawaii hosted Louisiana Tech and defeated them 44-26 as a 4.5-point underdog.
Both teams will enter into this contest at near-full health with no significant injuries to personnel on either side.
When Hawaii Has the Ball
The Rainbow Warriors epitomize the term “air raid offense” as their passing attack stands ninth in the country posting 321.2 passing yards per game while their rushing operations sit 121st in the FBS with 113.8 yards per game on the ground. Led by gunslinger Cole McDonald at quarterback, the Warriors have put up 32.1 points per game (42nd in the FBS). McDonald has been magnificent as he has thrown for 3,790 yards and 35 touchdowns while tossing just eight picks. The Warriors have a weapon on the outside in wide receiver Johnny Ursua who has 17 touchdowns on the year and 1,343 receiving yards’ season-to-date.
When Louisiana Tech Has the Ball
The Bulldogs offense has a boom-or-bust element to it. LA Tech averages a 95th-ranked 373.2 yards of total offense per game while scoring just 24.2 points per game (101st nationally). However, their strong point is their passing game which sits 54th nationally with 246.6 yards per game through the air. Like Hawaii, the Bulldogs have a playmaker lining up split-wide in Adrian Hardy who has 63 grabs on the year for a total of 1,032 receiving yards. Furthering the narrative of the “boom or bust” description of Tech’s offense, the Bulldogs are 6-0 SU when they score 28 points or more. On paper, they have a favorable situation here against a Hawaii team that stands 111st in the country in scoring defense giving up 35.4 points per game.
Two trends, in particular, are noteworthy. First, in the last nine meetings between Hawaii and Louisiana Tech, the favorite has posted a 7-2 record against the spread. Moreover, the Home Team is 7-1 ATS in the previous eight contests.
Temperatures are expected to be delightful as the forecast calls for kick-off conditions to be in the mid 70’s with just an 8% chance of precipitation. It will be a perfect day to hit the gridiron for both sides.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Hawaii +100
Hawaii has one of the most distinct home-field advantages in college football as visitors are tasked with traveling a minimum of 3,000 miles across three time zones to play the Rainbow Warriors if they are on the West Coast. Unfortunately for Louisiana Tech, you can tack on an extra 1,500 miles and two time-zones to that equation. This in itself can throw the Bulldogs already inconsistent offense out of sync. This is a daunting narrative considering Louisiana Tech will have to outscore Hawaii here to get the victory. Needless to say, they will have their hands full as Hawaii treats bowl games on their own soil akin to a College Football Playoff game. Most of the stadium will be packed out with rabid Hawaii fans, and when you combine the hostile nature of Aloha Stadium with the potential jet-lag, these variables will be too much for Louisiana Tech to overcome. We’ll skip the point and take Hawaii outright at evens and get this down at a sportsbook that offers reduced juice betting like 5Dimes