New Mexico State vs. Hawaii College Football Odds, Preview, Picks: Will the Rainbow Warriors Cover the Spread on Colt Brennan Day?

New Mexico State vs. Hawaii College Football Odds, Preview, Picks: Will the Rainbow Warriors Cover the Spread on Colt Brennan Day? article feature image

Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Hawaii Rainbow Warriors wide receiver Jared Smart (23).

  • Hawaii and New Mexico conclude Saturday's college football slate on the big island.
  • The Rainbow Warriors opened as 17.5-point favorites and will be honoring Colt Brennan's life before the game.
  • Check out Kody Malstrom's breakdown and top pick of the game, below.

New Mexico State vs. Hawaii Odds

Saturday, Oct. 23
11:59 p.m. ET
Spectrum PPV
New Mexico State Odds
-110o / -110u
Hawaii Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Sometimes in life, things are bigger than sports. Only sometimes, but the rare chances of it happening are there. This game is one of the rare instances in which that previous statement is true during a sporting event.

Colt Brennan captivated the nation with his late-night performances. He dazzled the nation en route to smashing records, but he also served as a great chance for us bettors to make back our losses for the day.

The kid was a stud. The visor, the swag, his flair while carving up opposing defenses. He was must-watch TV at night.

On May 11, Brennan tragically died at the young age of 37. Far too young. Hawaii honors him this Saturday, a day known as "Colt Brennan Day."

New Mexico State will have its hands full, coming in as a 17.5-point underdog and will look to play spoiler on what is sure to be an emotional night.

These two teams played earlier this season with Hawaii winning, 41-21.

New Mexico State Aggies

New Mexico State Offense

New Mexico State is currently 1-6, a result of a team that is just not good.

The Aggies rank 90th or worse in nearly every metric. They have lost four games by double digits or more. They can stop a nosebleed or move the ball on offense.

Not all hope is lost, though, as the metrics say they are at least an average team in the passing department. NMSU has a Pass Success ranking of 67th and is led by quarterback Jonah Johnson, who has thrown for 1,449 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions.

NMSU is very self-aware that it can't run the ball and has nearly abandoned it. It runs the ball at a rate of 39.8%, near last in the nation. Leaning heavily toward the pass isn't the worst idea, as Hawaii has struggled to contain the pass successfully.

New Mexico State Defense

If you could bravely stomach looking at NMSU's offensive metrics, then I might recommend not taking a look at their defensive metrics. It's bad. Really bad.

NMSU might not be able to stop a high school team while on defense. It ranks 100th or worse in Def. Rush Success, Line Yards, Pass Success, Pass Blocking, and big plays.

One bright spot for the Aggies is that they somehow have an average Def. Finishing Drives rate. It's almost like they don't realize they can stop the opposing offense before the 40 and instead turn it on once teams drive past that marker.

While Hawaii doesn't possess the best ranks on offense, it's still a good run team. NMSU will need to man the trenches if it hopes to have a chance this time around.

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Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

Hawaii Offense

Not that the Hawaii passing game was ever elite, but it was at least a lot better when Chevan Cordeiro played under center. Since his injury, backup Brayden Schager has struggled. In his last outing against Nevada, Schager threw for 205 yards and four interceptions.

Chevan is currently probable to come back. His return would be the cherry on top for Colt Brennan Day. Hawaii currently ranks 114th in Pass Success, a metric I would expect to improve upon Chevan's return. He wouldn't have to worry about protection, as the offensive line ranks 30th in Pass Blocking.

If Chevan doesn't come back, Hawaii can lean more toward the run even though it has a low rush rate. The Warriors are just a little better than average in the nation in Rush Success and Line Yards, something that NMSU is very poor at defending.

Hawaii Defense

Hawaii's defensive game plan will be pretty simple coming into this matchup: stop the pass. That's easier said than done as Hawaii possesses a Def. Pass Success rank of 97th.

If the secondary wants to avoid getting torched, it will need the defensive line to generate pressure. While the Rainbow Warriors rank 52nd in Def. Pass Rush, they will find it easier than usual to get to the quarterback as NMSU's line is one of the worst in the nation.

Not all hope is lost if the secondary is unable to stop the pass. If NMSU gets past the 40, things get interesting. NMSU is far below average in Finishing Drives, while Hawaii is 44th — something to monitor as this can potentially lead to a live add on the total.

New Mexico State vs. Hawaii Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how New Mexico State and Hawaii match up statistically:

New Mexico State Offense vs. Hawaii Defense
Rush Success10875
Line Yards9661
Pass Success6797
Pass Blocking**12752
Big Play92115
Finishing Drives9144
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Hawaii Offense vs. New Mexico State Defense
Rush Success50105
Line Yards66101
Pass Success114100
Pass Blocking**30129
Big Play82111
Finishing Drives11555
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling12884
Middle 8127111
SP+ Special Teams12038
Plays per Minute1817
Rush Rate39.8% (125)48.4% (108)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

New Mexico State vs. Hawaii Betting Pick

Sometimes you just need to throw the data away and simply bet Hawaii because it's Colt Brennan Day. While that is 100% a joke and I would never advise that, you do have to imagine the raw emotion will play a factor.

Instead, I will take Hawaii because I believe it's simply that superior to NMSU. While Hawaii's offense struggles for the most part, NMSU is bad enough on defense that it will make Hawaii look like Ole Miss.

NMSU ranks worse than 100th in nearly every defensive metric on top of being 128th in PFF Tackling. The Rainbow Warriors will move the ball with ease, which is vital for covering a large number. Possessions become a premium.

Whether Cordeiro makes his return or Schager goes under center again, either quarterback should be able to do whatever they want to the Aggies defense. If the passing still isn't there for the Rainbow Warriors, they can lean on the run.

The Aggies also don't scare me on offense for a potential back-door cover.

While they may be able to exploit Hawaii's passing defense, the Finishing Drives rate is a cause of major concern. You can get all the yards you want, but if it doesn't result in points, then we have nothing to worry about.

I grabbed the opener at -17 and would take this no higher than -21. Happy Colt Brennan Day.

Pick: Hawaii -17

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