Nevada vs. Hawaii Odds & Pick 11/28/20
Nevada Wolf Pack (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date and Time: Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 11PM EST
Where: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
Point Spread: NEV -6.5/HAW +6.5 (Intertops - The Biggest Little Bonus on the Web! Deposit $25 and get $50 FREE when you use bonus code ROOKIE200)
Over/Under Total: 61.5
The Nevada Wolf Pack come to Honolulu to battle the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday in Mountain West Conference action from Aloha Stadium. Nevada is seeing some really good things happen with five straight wins to open the season. Last week’s win gives them an air of legitimacy, as they came from off the pace to beat San Diego State, 26-21. They’ve covered four out of five spreads, but to go to 6-0, they face a tricky road-spot against a dug-in Hawaii squad coming off a late-Saturday loss to Boise State at home, 40-32. Following an ugly loss to San Diego State the previous week, they didn’t get the win, but at least showed some fire in keeping within one score of their favored foe.
Hope for Hawaii?
When a team isn’t particularly good, and they’re going against an unbeaten team, as Hawaii is, it’s not always easy to point to something tangible for support. Last season, Hawaii flattening Nevada in Reno, 54-3, would seem to qualify. The bad news for Hawaii is that the bulk of personnel responsible for that rout are now gone. But for what it’s worth, the last time Nevada played this team, it was a dismal showing where starting QB Carson Strong got the hook, and nothing went right on either side of the ball. A lot has changed, and the complexion of this game is completely different now, but whenever a team beats an opponent by 51 and then that opponent is favored on the road the next season, it’s fair for one’s ears to perk up some.
Is Nevada For Real?
Beating teams like Wyoming, UNLV, Utah State, New Mexico, and even SDSU alone doesn’t signal a renaissance for the Wolf Pack program, perhaps, but they certainly pass the eye-test. In Jay Norvell’s fourth season at the helm, his system and players are in full effect now, and we see a program on the rise coming off two straight bowl appearances. With five straight wins, they are seeing their greatest success since the halcyon days of Colin Kaepernick.
With 14 TDs and just two picks, Nevada quarterback Carson Strong has upgraded his game from an up-and-down 2019 season, and it’s really paying off. He works with a third-year starting back—the bruising Toa Taua, who looks to go to town against a Hawaii defense that he has punished the last two seasons. Strong works with a very nice receiver crew that balances experience and youth well, with Romeo Doubs, TE Cole Turner, Justin Lockhart, and Devonte Lee.
What makes Nevada stand out as a possibly-legit power in this conference is a nicely-balanced defense that has looked really good since a problematic opening game against Wyoming, where the Cowboys pushed Nevada and took it to overtime. In the last four games, the Wolf Pack haven’t allowed more than 21 points in a game, giving up a combined 69 points in that span. They don’t make a lot of splash plays, and outside of Dom Peterson, there aren’t many stars on this side of the ball, but they’re very stout against both the run and the pass, while stepping up with some of their best play in key situations.
Hawaii Offense Kicking Into Gear?
It made sense that this season, it would take a minute to get this Hawaii offense cranked up. You have a new head coach in Todd Graham, along with a lot of turnover on this side of the ball. Cole McDonald is gone and with him is a big chunk of the offensive production that had allowed the Rainbow Warriors to reclaim some of their standing as an MWC offensive force. They struggled at times in their first two games, but that led to a better offensive output of 33 points, but they still lost to a bad New Mexico team. A ten-point output against the Aztecs had them looking even worse, so Saturday was a necessary development—a competent offensive showing against a good conference team.
You can start to see sophomore Hawaii QB Chevan Cordeiro coming around. On Saturday, he was competent aerially, throwing for 253 yards and three TDs, while also running for 90 yards. He also had a 116-yard rushing game against Fresno earlier this season, and those legs can really come in handy. He still has Miles Reed, a versatile back who has flourished in this offense before, along with some interesting pieces who might be coming around some. But this is still a period of growth for Cordeiro, which comes with a lot of mistakes along the way. He took good care of the ball Saturday, but there have been issues this season, and he hasn’t always been very accurate.
Can the Rainbow Warriors Defense Deliver in This Spot?
For Hawaii to thrive in this game, the defense will need to do some of the things it did last season in this matchup. And they were really tough on Nevada QB Carson Strong. Some of that menace remains, including a ball-hawk secondary that can really make it hard for opposing teams to cover a number as favorites, as we saw last week. Todd Graham made his bones on the defensive side of the ball, and you can start to see some of his handiwork take hold. They haven’t always been stout, but they’re not just out there taking up space either.
Take the Points on the Home Team
Last season barely matters at this point, but frankly, I derive at least a minimum of comfort knowing how well Hawaii played Nevada last season. The roles have changed, with Nevada now the rising conference power, while Hawaii is more in the mode of trying to stay afloat. Still, it’s a challenging road game for the Wolf Pack, and Hawaii just might be competent enough to hold down the fort and get the cover on Saturday. I’ll go with the Rainbow Warriors in this one.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors plus 6.5 points. Make Hawaii a +26.5 underdog by inserting them into a huge 20 point college football teaser at BetAnySports!
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