Hawaii vs. Vanderbilt Odds & Prediction | How to Bet Week 0 Rematch

Hawaii vs. Vanderbilt Odds & Prediction | How to Bet Week 0 Rematch article feature image

Adam Hagy/Getty Images. Pictured: Vanderbilt quarterback AJ Swann.

Hawaii vs. Vanderbilt Odds

Saturday, Aug. 26
7:30 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Hawaii Odds
-115o / -104u
Vanderbilt Odds
-115o / -104u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Editor's Note: Kickoff has been delayed due to lightning.

Hawaii travels to Vanderbilt and will be looking for revenge after last year's blowout on the island.

The Rainbow Warriors got off to a dismal start in Timmy Chang's first season, but became competitive down the stretch and won games over Nevada and UNLV, while also playing San Diego State tough.

Chang's second year should go much better now that he's implemented his system and returns some experience.

Clark Lea enters his third season as Vanderbilt's head coach, and things started to turn in a positive direction towards the end of last season, as the Commodores beat both Florida and Kentucky.

However, there are a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball this season, and Lea is going to have to improve one of the worst Power 5 defenses from 2022 if he's going to get this team to five wins.

Hawaii Warriors

Last season, Vanderbilt dismantled Hawaii, 63-0, in the opener. That game was terrible for the Rainbow Warriors, but we have to remember that things were vastly different then; Hawaii was implementing a new system and had a lot of underclassmen.

Toward the end of last season, Chang installed some run-and-shoot concepts after Hawaii didn't record a touchdown pass through the first four games of the season.

Quarterback Brayden Schager was brutal at the beginning of the season, but improved as the year went along. As you can see below, his final two games were two of his best.

Image via PFF.

Now Schager has had a full offseason in the offense and should see improvement.

It also helps that Hawaii is bringing back 110 starts across its offensive line, so he should have more time to throw.

However, it's not all on Schager to carry the offense. Hawaii can also run the football. The Rainbow Warriors ranked 19th in the country in Offensive Line Yards and 26th in Rushing Success Rate last season.

They did lose Dedrick Parson — their top back — but 5-foot-7 scat back Tylan Hines — who averaged a whopping 7.6 yards per carry last year — returns.

Wishing #CollegeFootball Week 0 would get here as quickly as @HawaiiFootball running back Tylan Hines got through the Utah State defense for this touchdown back in November 🌈pic.twitter.com/abVbu3jqYn

— College Football Network (@CFN365) June 28, 2023

Hawaii's defense was abysmal last season, but it had a brand-new starter at almost every position, so you really couldn't expect much.

This season, Hawaii returns nine starters on defense, including five of its top six tacklers. Chang also went into the portal and grabbed three defensive linemen from Power 5 schools, so Hawaii will be much improved in its front seven.

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Vanderbilt Commodores

Vanderbilt pulled off a couple of key upsets over Kentucky and Florida last season. However, both of those were with Mike Wright starting at quarterback.

With Wright off to Mississippi State, AJ Swann will be the starter this season.

He played solid in a limited sample size, but things get really bad when he's forced to throw the ball a lot.

Image via PFF.

Swann may have thrown only two interceptions, but 13 turnover-worthy plays is frighteningly bad for a quarterback who attempted just 201 passes.

So, that means Vanderbilt will have to rely on its ground game. Well, the Commodores' top rusher from last season — Ryan Davis — is gone after touting the rock a whopping 232 times, and they'll likely start a true freshman in the opener.

Vanderbilt's rushing attack finished 97th in Rushing Success Rate and 87th in EPA/Rush, so it's highly unlikely it's going to dominate an improved Hawaii front seven.

Lea's specialty is defense, but there was nothing special about Vanderbilt's unit last season. The Commodores finished the year 127th in EPA/Play Allowed and gave up 6.8 yards per play, the third-highest average in college football.

Vanderbilt returns eight starters, but lost star linebacker Anfernee Orji, who ranked second in the SEC with 108 tackles last season. No one else had over 60 tackles.

Lea didn't do much in the transfer portal or in recruiting, so how is one of the nation's worst defenses going to drastically improve?

Hawaii vs. Vanderbilt

Betting Pick & Prediction

Things are much different than when these teams met a season ago.

Hawaii should be much improved offensively, and Vanderbilt didn't make any significant upgrades to its defense.

I only have Vanderbilt projected as a -7.1 favorite, so I love the value on Hawaii at +17.5, and I would play it down to +12.5.

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