Hawaii vs Utah Odds, Pick for Thursday
Pictured: Noel Coleman. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
- Hawaii and Utah do battle in a late-night Salt Lake City affair.
- The Rainbow Warriors are searching for a quality win to add to their resume early in the season.
- Here are Hawaii vs Utah odds and a pick for Thursday.
Hawaii vs Utah Odds, Pick
Hawaii and Utah will face off at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, an opportunity for the Rainbow Warriors to earn a marquee win and solidify themselves as a good team.
Hawaii has opened the season with five straight wins, though none of them have been particularly difficult to earn. The Rainbow Warriors have a great defense, currently ranked 75th in the country in Defensive Efficiency, but also possess an efficient offense and shoot the ball well.
However, Utah will be Hawaii's toughest test thus far. Fresh off a seven-point road win against Saint Mary's, Utah will be looking to add to its resume with a victory against a team quickly climbing up the rankings.
Hawaii won an impressive 22 games last season and returned 54% of its minutes from that team. The Rainbow Warriors have a three-headed scoring monster comprised of Noel Coleman, Justin McKoy and Jovon McClanahan, all of whom average 11 or more points per game.
Hawaii plays fast and defends. They have few weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball as they force opponents into tough shots and guard both the rim and the 3-point line well.
They also don't even allow many 3-point attempts and rank third in the country in preventing teams from attempting to shoot from beyond the arc. Add it all together, and Hawaii is a tough opponent to face.
The same could be said for Utah, who has risen all the way up to 38th in the country, according to KenPom. Utah also has a very balanced attack, ranking in the top 50 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
What makes the Utes most dangerous is the ability to shoot from beyond the arc. Utah has two different snipers who rarely miss and take a lot of shots — Gabe Madsen (45% on 6.7 attempts per game) and Cole Bajema (45% on 4.8 attempts per game). It is hard for defenses to take away one, let alone both. The scariest part? Neither is Utah's best player.
Simply put, Branden Carlson is a problem. He is one of the best bigs in the country and he can beat opponents in a variety of ways. He scores 17.3 points per game, makes 36% of his 3-point attempts and is third on the team in assists per game.
While Utah is likely to win this game, the line opening at 11.5 points feels a bit high given Hawaii's ability to hang in games. The key to the Rainbow Warriors keeping this close could be their ability to make shots from outside as Utah's 3-point defense leaves much to be desired. I love the Rainbow Warriors and would bet them down to +10.
Pick: Hawaii +11.5
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