Sheraton Hawaii Bowl – Hawaii Warriors (10-3 SU 11-2 ATS) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9-3 SU 8-4 ATS) Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI 8 PM EST Friday Saturday December 24, 2010 on ESPN / ESPN3
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: UH -11/TULSA +11
Over/Under Total: 73
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The Hawaii Bowl will be sure to be loaded with some offensive fireworks between the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and Hawaii Warriors, who are a couple of teams with great offenses. Tulsa has the nation’s 5th ranked offense and Hawaii ranks 8th. The main reason that the Warriors are big 11-point betting favorites in this game is that they can play some defense. The Hawaii D ranks 39th in the nation while Tulsa only ranks 107th.
It is interesting that Hawaii is technically the away team even though they will be playing this game in their home state, so they should have a pretty big home field advantage. The Warriors are 3-2 in their last 5 bowl games and they ended the season on a 3-game winning streak scoring 59 points in each of their last 2 games.
Tulsa also ended the season well winning their last 6 games averaging just over 43 points per game in that span.
In their season finales Hawaii beat UNLV 59-21 and Tulsa beat Southern Miss 56-50 in a barnburner.
Oddsmakers did not make much cash if people bet on these teams this season with Hawaii going 11-2 ATS and Tulsa going 8-4 ATS. Even though Hawaii is the away team they are playing in their backyard and are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 home games while Tulsa is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games.
Hawaii has the nation’s top-ranked passing offense and they are led by QB Bryant Moniz, who will be tough to stop since he passed for 3 or more TD’s in 9 of the 13 games for the Warriors this season. His main target is WR Greg Salas, who had over 1,600 receiving yards this season and recorded 9 games over 100 receiving yards. He is not the only guy that Moniz can throw to and that is not good considering the Tulsa passing D ranked 2nd to last among BCS schools.
Seriously, the Warriors have the nations #1 passing offense and the Tulsa pass D gave up an average over 305 passing yards per game. The Golden Hurricane gave up 406 passing yards in their last win over Southern Miss and they will likely need their offense to bail them out again, as Moniz will have a BIG game.
While Hawaii mainly relies on Moniz to move the chains Warriors’ RB Alex Green rushed for 1,168 yards this season and will be facing a Tulsa defense that is legit ranking 40th in the nation. However, with the Tulsa defense mainly worrying about Moniz and the pass Green will have a good game.
Unlike Hawaii Tulsa has a well-balanced offense attack ranking 16th in the nation in passing yards per game and 15th in rushing yards per game. QB G.J. Kinne was the Conference USA Player of the Year and he led the Golden Hurricane in passing yards and rushing yards. He will have to have a good game for Tulsa to pull off the upset. Hawaii is weaker against the pass so Kinne will likely have to air it out to 5’8′ speedster WR Damaris Johnson (53 rec 771 yards 3 TD) and RB Charles Clay (41 rec 488 yards 7 TD) to beat the Warriors.
Tulsa should get good field position on kickoffs with Damaris Johnson, who was the Conference USA special teams player of the year and he is the all time leader in college football with 3,308 yards off kickoff returns.
Since Tulsa does not stack up well with Hawaii on D they will have to create some turnovers. They do rank 4th in the nation with 30 turnovers gained on the season, but Hawaii ranks 1st with 36, so look for a couple of turnovers from each team.
The Golden Hurricane have solid ATS trends, but they are only 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game. On the other hand Hawaii is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a “home” favorite of 3.5-10.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: You think a team from the Midwest is going to come to the islands and beat Hawaii? Maybe if it were a good defensive team, which Tulsa is not. Hawaii will light up the scoreboard and win and cover the spread and even though the betting total is very high the Over is also the pick in this game.
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