Hawaii vs. New Mexico State Odds, Picks | College Football Week 4 Betting Preview
Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Joey Yellen #18 of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
- Hawaii takes on New Mexico State in college football's Week 4.
- The Aggies are one of the worst teams in the country, but will have home-field advantage for this one.
- Brad Cunningham breaks down the matchup and offers up a best bet.
Hawaii vs. New Mexico State Odds
Welcome to the Game of the Year. The Hawaii Warriors and the New Mexico State Aggies are set to do battle in Las Cruces, New Mexico to decide which is the worst team in college football.
It's been bad for Timmy Chang as he begins his head coaching career at his alma mater. Hawaii has been blown out by Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky and Michigan by a combined score of 168-37. Hawaii is also getting outgained by over 4.0 yards per play.
But the Warriors did get their first win of the season over Duquesne this past weekend and have another winnable game on Saturday.
Former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill has taken over the New Mexico State program, and it's more of the same in Las Cruces.
New Mexico State has been horrible offensively, scoring just 32 points in its first four games. However, this is just the third time since 2018 that the Aggies are favored against an FBS opponent.
In Hawaii's three games against FBS opponents, the offense averaged just 4.2 yards per play. However, it did run the ball somewhat successfully, ranking 69th in EPA/Play, 64th in Rushing Success Rate and 67th in Rushing Explosiveness.
Hawaii only brought back four starters from last year's team, and three of them are on the offensive line and have combined for 110 starts. As a unit, it's ranked 47th in Offensive Line Yards through the first four games.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 11, 2022
Hawaii is between quarterbacks at the moment. Brayden Schager started the games against Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky, but was benched in favor of Joey Yellen after throwing four interceptions against the Hilltoppers.
Neither quarterback has been effective throwing the ball, and Hawaii is averaging just 4.6 yards per pass attempt.
Hawaii brought back just two starters on the defensive side of the ball and lost its top seven tacklers from 2021, so there were always going to be some growing pains.
But Hawaii is allowing 8.6 yards per play, the highest average in college football.
Now, the Warriors have played Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky and Michigan, so it's been a pretty difficult schedule, but being 128th in EPA/Play Allowed, 114th in Finishing Drives Allowed and 125th in Success Rate Allowed is very concerning.
However, last weekend, the Warriors held Duquense to 4.5 yards per play. That was an improvement, but Hawaii also allowed Duquesne to run 81 plays and control the ball for 37 minutes.
New Mexico State truly has one of the worst offenses in college football. Kill has taken over and plays at one of the slowest paces in the country at 2.18 plays per minute.
There's nothing wrong with playing slow, but it could become a problem when that team averages only 4.2 yards per play and ranks 106th in EPA/Play.
Also of note, only four starters return for the Aggies, and they're all on the offensive line. So, they're implementing a new system with entirely new skill position players, which is not a recipe for success.
New Mexico State quarterback Diego Pavia averages only 3.7 yards per attempt, has a 50.9 PFF passing grade and a 37.5% completion percentage.
I wish I could tell you the run game has given him some relief, but the Aggies are 121st in Rushing Success Rate, 100th in EPA/Rush and 123rd in terms of run-blocking grade, per PFF.
New Mexico State has played a mixed bag of opponents. The Aggies went into Big Ten country to play Wisconsin and Minnesota and gave up a combined 104 points and allowed 7.4 yards per play.
In their other two games — against UTEP and Nevada — New Mexico State only allowed 43 points and 4.1 yards per play.
This is what happens when you are able to return nine starters on the defensive side of the ball and are playing somewhat equal competition.
A lot of New Mexico State's rankings — like 120th in Finishing Drives Allowed, 122nd in Success Rate Allowed and 119th in Havoc — are a tad inflated by the blowouts against Wisconsin and Minnesota.
But let's not kid ourselves, this is still a bottom-30 defense in college football.
Hawaii vs. New Mexico State Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Hawaii and New Mexico State match up statistically:
Hawaii Offense vs. New Mexico State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
New Mexico State Offense vs. Hawaii Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||84||127|
|Seconds per Play||25.9 (57)||28.0 (97)|
|Rush Rate||42.9% (118)||54.7% (62)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Hawaii vs. New Mexico State Betting Pick
This game is truly going to be painful to watch, and I wouldn't blame you if you don't want to watch it.
But I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't question why New Mexico State is a five-point favorite in this spot? What has Kill's team shown that indicates it isn't going to continue to be one of the five worst teams in college football?
I have Hawaii projected as a -1.7 favorite, so give me Chang and the Warriors at +5 (DraftKings).