College Football Betting Odds & Pick: San Jose State vs. Hawaii Preview (Saturday, Dec. 5)

College Football Betting Odds & Pick: San Jose State vs. Hawaii Preview (Saturday, Dec. 5) article feature image
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Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro.

  • Quarterback Nick Starkel leads San Jose State to Honolulu for a matchup moved west due to COVID-19 restrictions in California.
  • The Spartans’ defense has thrived this season, while Hawaii has struggled to find a rhythm offensively, especially quarterback Chevan Cordeiro.
  • BJ Cunningham explains why he is backing San Jose State for an impressive win as a road favorite.

San Jose State vs. Hawaii Odds

 San Jose State Odds -2.5 [BET NOW]
Hawaii Odds +2.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -127/+104 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 59.5 [BET NOW]
Time 6 p.m. ET
TV Spectrum Sports
Odds as of Saturday at 4 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today.

San Jose State was set to host Hawaii on the mainland until COVID-19 restrictions in California forced this game to be moved to Hawaii. So, once again, we are blessed with a football game on the island.

Surprisingly, the Spartans are tied atop the Mountain West standings with the perfect 4-0 record. San Jose State has taken care of business at home, plus it pulled off an upset over San Diego State earlier this season.

The Spartans had their toughest game of the season against Boise State canceled last weekend, so they will need to win out if they are going to play in the Mountain West Conference title game.

As for Hawaii, it pulled off a huge upset of Nevada last Saturday to get back to .500 on the season. The Rainbow Warriors have been much better on the island this season, so the Spartans better come ready to play or they could wind up leaving with their first loss of the season.

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San Jose State Spartans

Offense

The Spartans made a drastic switch on offense last season, going to a more pass-heavy attack. So far, it has done wonders.

Arkansas transfer Nick Starkel has been fantastic, averaging 9.2 yards per attempt and leading the Spartans to a ranking of 16th in terms of Passing Success, according to College Football Data. San Jose State returned all of its main targets from last season, so there shouldn’t be a drop-off any time soon.

The ground attack hasn’t been called on much this season, as the Spartans throw the ball on 56 percent of their plays. That said, it’s been pretty average, as they’ve carried the ball for 4.2 yards per carry.

San Jose State also returns three starters on an offensive line that has been stellar in its pass protection so far. Starkel has been sacked twice this season.

Defense

This side of the ball has improved greatly, as the Spartans are 35th in Defensive Success Rate, per College Football Data. They’ve allowed only 4.8 yards per play through their first four games, excelling versus the run.

Eight of San Jose State’s top 11 tacklers are back from last season, poising it to become one of the best defenses in the Mountain West. The Spartans have allowed only 3.1 yards per rush attempt so far, which is the second-best mark in the Mountain West. They also rank inside the top 35 in Power Success Allowed, Defensive Rushing Success, and explosive rushing allowed.

Those strengths will come in handy against Hawaii, which has struggled to run the ball this season at only 4.0 yards per carry.

The pass defense is where San Jose State is going to have to step up if it’s going to beat Hawaii on the island. The Spartans are allowing 7.9 yards per pass attempt on the season. They have a lot of experience returning in their secondary but will have to improve if they are going to slow down the Rainbow Warriors’ passing attack.


Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

Offense

Hawaii’s offense has struggled, both running and passing the ball. The Rainbow Warriors rank 99th in Offensive Success Rate, only gaining 5.1 yards per play.

Chevan Cordeiro has struggled with consistency, throwing for only 6.8 yards per pass attempt, which has led Hawaii to the 100th-best passing offense in terms of Success Rate, per College Football Data. However, a big issue for Hawaii is the fact its receivers find it hard to get open, as running back Calvin Turner leads the team in receptions.

The ground game has been struggling as well, but the emergence of Turner as a dual-threat back has Rainbow Warriors’ fans excited. The senior is averaging 9.45 yards per touch. San Jose State will have to slow down Turner in order to shut down Hawaii’s offense.

Defense

The Rainbow Warriors’ defense has really struggled against the run, allowing a whopping 5.2 yards per rush attempt. That is mainly due to the fact that Hawaii had to replace seven of its top 14 tacklers, as well as a lot of starters on its front seven. The Spartans’ ground game hasn’t been called on much, but it could break out if Hawaii isn’t careful.

Hawaii has actually been solid versus the pass this season but struggled against good quarterbacks. Hank Bachmaier lit up its secondary two weeks ago, throwing for 9.0 yards per attempt. Starkel is one of the best quarterbacks in the Mountain West, so I think the Rainbow Warriors are going to struggle to stop the Spartans’ aerial attack.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

The Spartans’ passing attack and defense should be able to dominate this game despite the change in location. San Jose State opened as a 7.5-point favorite at home, but that has shifted to -1.5 on the island. That’s some big movement for a game simply changing locations.

I have the Spartans favored by -6.85, so I think there’s plenty of value on them at -2.5 points.

Pick: San Jose State -2.5 (play up to -3).

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