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Hawaii vs. Michigan Odds, Picks: Do You Dare Take This Historic Spread?

Hawaii vs. Michigan Odds, Picks: Do You Dare Take This Historic Spread? article feature image
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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Michigan running back Blake Corum.

  • The Michigan Wolverines are historical favorites against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday in college football's Week 2.
  • The Warriors have played two games and lost by a combined score of 114-27.
  • Tanner McGrath breaks down what to take from a betting perspective.

Hawaii vs. Michigan Odds

Saturday, Sept. 10
8 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Hawaii Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+51.5
-104
67.5
-108o / -112u
N/A
Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-51.5
-118
67.5
-108o / -112u
N/A
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Boy, Hawaii is in a bad place.

The Warriors have played two games and lost by a combined score of 114-27. The two losses also came against Western Kentucky and Vanderbilt — not exactly upper-echelon teams.

Hawaii now faces Michigan, which just moved up to No. 4 in the AP Poll after demolishing Colorado State, in Ann Arbor.

Michigan is a historically massive favorite on Saturday. This is just the seventh time since 2005 that a team has opened as greater than 50-point favorites. Four of the prior six have been Nick Saban-led Alabama teams.

And the line has moved Michigan’s way! The Wolverines have taken most of the money and have been pushed up to -51.5 from an opener of 50.

This game feels near-impossible to handicap, but let’s do it anyway.

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Hawaii Warriors

For what it’s worth, Hawaii has closed as a 38-point-or-more underdog four times this century. The Rainbow Warriors are 2-2 against the spread, although one of those losses came at Michigan in 2016 (Hawaii lost, 63-3, as 38-point dogs).

But none of those teams may be as bad as this one.

Timmy Chang is a first-year head coach. His roster brought back just six starters, including two on defense and none of the top seven tacklers from last year’s 6-7 squad.

The biggest loss may have been Chevan Cordeiro. Through two games this season, the two Hawaii quarterbacks have combined to complete 54-of-99 passes (54.5%) for 5.2 yards per attempt (2.8 adjusted yards per attempt), no touchdowns and five interceptions.

Brayden Schager started each of the first two games, but Hawaii is going with Joey Yellen against Michigan.

#HawaiiFB head coach Timmy Chang says that Joey Yellen will start this Saturday against Michigan.

Brayden Schager is dealing w/ an undisclosed injury, but will be available in Ann Arbor. QBs Jake Farrell and Armani Edden will also make the trip. Cammon Cooper will not travel

— Kyle Chinen (@KyleChinen) September 7, 2022

There is an offensive line in Honolulu as 110 career starts returned and the group is a top-35 unit by Offensive Line Yards so far. Hawaii has managed to scrape together 100 rushing yards in each game, with Dedrick Parson doing the lion’s share of the work (82 yards, TD, 6.3 YPC vs Vanderbilt).

Touchdown @HawaiiFootball!!! Dedrick Parson scores a 9-yard rushing TD on the speed option. Brayden Schager was also 3-for-3 for 45 yards passing on the drive.
Scoring Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards, 3:56.
WKU 1️⃣4️⃣, UH 1️⃣0️⃣, 7:40 in the half. #HawaiiFB 🏈🏈🏈 pic.twitter.com/ZQh7yLQ1UT

— Spectrum Sports HI (@specsportshi) September 4, 2022

I’m much less optimistic about the defense. They’ve allowed 7.5 yards per carry through two games, including eight rushing touchdowns. The front seven is extremely inexperienced and ranks 106th in Defensive Standard Downs Success Rate. Opponents are getting the necessary early down yardage 55% of the time against Hawaii.

That does not bode well against Michigan. If you’re into college fantasy football, Blake Corum is a must-start this week.

Michigan Wolverines

The Michigan offensive line is still here.

Line coach Sherrone Moore became the co-offensive coordinator, but it seems like he’s still mentoring this group, which returned three starters and added second-team All-American Olusegun Oluwatimi to the fold.

Their 3.94 Offensive Line Yards against Colorado State have the Wolverines 13th in the country and helped the group rush for 234 yards and four scores. It’s the eighth time in their past 15 games that they’ve rushed for over 200 yards.

However, JJ McCarthy was a big part of Michigan’s ground game in Week 1, and it has started an all-out debate in Ann Arbor.

JJ McCarthy, ladies & gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/yHMTpL4IUb

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 3, 2022

McCarthy completed all four of his attempts for 30 yards and picked up 50 rushing yards on just three attempts. The ceiling for Michigan’s offense has always been higher with McCarthy and his dual-threat ability was on full display in Week 1.

To make matters worse, Cade McNamara looked bad. He went 9-for-18 for 136 yards with a 4.9-yard average depth of target. He finished with a 47.8 PFF grade against a Mountain West defense.

This interception was overturned, but it’s an example of bad processing, a bad read and a horrendous throw.

Cade McNamara is picked off by Colorado State! pic.twitter.com/2QZKHDT9s3

— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) September 3, 2022

There were question marks surrounding the Michigan defense after Aidan Hutchison departed alongside the team’s other top tacklers (Josh Ross, Daxton Hill). But those questions will have to wait another week.

The Michigan defense finished with seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss. They forced a fumble and safety Rod Moore picked up an interception. Colorado State finished with a 39% Success Rate on standard downs and a 6% Success Rate on passing downs.

Michigan’s defense lived in the backfield against a Jay Norvell-led offense that could be frisky this season. I’d upgrade the Michigan defense.

Michigan's defense today:
-7 sacks
-12 tackles for loss
-7 carries of >5 yards allowed
-3 completions of >10 yards allowed
-2 turnovers with 82 return yards
-3.7 yards per play allowed
-0 penalties
-9 for 11 on 3rd-down stops
-Tied Colorado State's offense in points

— Zach Shaw (@_ZachShaw) September 3, 2022

 

Hawaii vs. Michigan Betting Pick

However, none of that matters with a spread this large. What does it take for a team to cover a 50-point spread?

Michigan posted victories of 53, 41 and 39 points last season. It finished just +1 in the turnover column in all three games.

The one common theme was pass defense. Rocky Lombardi finished with just 46 yards in Week 3, Taulia Tagovailo posted 178 yards in Week 11, and Spencer Petras and Alex Padilla finished with 175 combined yards in the Big Ten Championship.

It certainly shouldn’t be a problem for Michigan against Hawaii’s backup quarterback.

But then you have to take into account coach Jim Harbaugh. He doesn’t love running it up. Michigan failed to score in the final 20 minutes in the Northern Illinois blowout.

You also have to take into account the quarterback battle. You’d think Harbaugh wants to get McCarthy some more snaps and he’ll want to ball out fighting for a starting job.

There’s no right way to bet this game. SP+ makes the spread 54.6, which gives us enough of an edge to bet on Michigan. I’m passing on this historically large spread personally. But if you must, lay the points.

Pick: Pass · Michigan -51 (Heavy Lean)

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