College Football Odds & Picks for Portland State vs. Hawaii: Late-Night Week 1 Betting Preview (Saturday, Sept. 4)
Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images. Pictured: Chevan Cordeiro.
- Portland State and Hawaii meet for some late-night football.
- The Rainbow Warriors take on the Vikings in what is an extremely late matchup on the East Coast.
- Check out Keg's full betting guide with odds, picks, and predictions for the game.
Portland State vs. Hawaii Odds
There are certain things that define college sports like the fans, the history and midnight Hawaii games.
After what most would consider an embarrassing start to the season against UCLA, the Rainbow Warriors return to the island to play an FCS opponent.
Unfortunately what was expected to be a sellout crowd in Hawaii’s first-ever game on campus and first home game away from Aloha Stadium since 1974 will be in an empty stadium due to the state of Hawaii COVID-19 protocol.
Hawaii and Portland State have previously played five times with Hawaii leading the series 4-1. The Vikings upset UH in 2000 the last time these teams met, but since that loss the Rainbow Warriors have won their last 17 games against FCS teams dating back to the 2001 season.
Hawaii has won its home-opener in each of the last six seasons. Todd Graham is 9-0 versus FCS teams in his career as a head coach, although he has never faced Portland State.
The Vikings are members of the FCS Big Sky Conference and are led by head coach Bruce Barnum who begins his 12th year.
Portland State has not competed since 2019, other than for a lone game in January 2021 — a 48-7 beatdown loss to Montana. For many players, not even a team workout or team lifting session was done until a few weeks ago when they began delayed practices due to COVID-19 outbreaks in Oregon.
Speaking of COVID-19, keep an eye out for updates on Portland State, as all players, coaches and team personnel had to be tested before traveling to Hawaii. Anyone who tested positive will not be allowed to make the trip due to travel restrictions in Hawaii. The team was expected to depart for the island Thursday morning and as of writing, nothing has been announced related to the testing.
Davis Alexander will lead the offense under center for Portland State as a dual-threat QB that racked up almost 3,500 yards of total offense and 30 total touchdowns in 2019.
Alexander will have some solid targets to use that big arm to connect with, with receivers like Beau Kelly, Mataio Talalemotu and Emmanuel Daigbe. At running back JoJo Siofele and Jobi Malary will form a tandem alongside returning Malik Walker to lead PSU’s ground attack.
Defensive back Anthony Adams is the lone star in the Vikings defense that racked up the All-American honors in 2019, earning AP, STATS, Walter Camp and Athlon Sports first-team acknowledgments.
Adams recorded 56 tackles and five interceptions in 2019 to lead the Vikings on the defensive side of the ball.
I don’t think UH could have looked worse against UCLA. Fortunately, I think we will see a very different team than what we saw in Pasadena. The Warriors had a combined -3 yards after three offensive drives last week.
Getting off to slow starts offensively has troubled the Warriors in the Todd Graham era. Portland state may not be in the same galaxy as UCLA, but if the Rainbow Warriors want to cover this game, it will be important for them to get out to a solid lead early and learn from the mistakes they made in Pasadena.
Rainbow Warriors Offense
Against UCLA, Chevan Cordeiro threw for 220 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions on 25-of-47 passing. Dae Dae Hunter led an ineffective attack on the ground putting up 20 yards on seven carries.
The offense will need to find its rhythm this week, and thankfully the offensive line should not be overwhelmed by the speed or power of the Vikings. Picking up early first downs and building much-needed confidence will be a major factor for this Hawaii offense.
Rainbow Warriors Defense
The Vikings run a West Coast-spread offense that uses pre-snap motion, read options and quick passes to attack the defense. After watching Hawaii’s film from last week, you have to expect that the Vikings will try to test the Warriors run defense.
But because of COVID-19 contact-tracing protocol, eight top-tier defensive linemen and a starting linebacker were limited to only two full football practices during the two weeks leading to the season-opening road loss to UCLA, which definitely played a factor.
Portland State vs. Hawaii Betting Pick
Regardless of how much better of a team I think Hawaii is and the fact that they have a great opportunity to bounce back in a return to the island this week, I cannot bring myself to lay 22 points after how this team performed last week. However, this team has consistently started games slow in Todd Graham’s time in Honolulu.
The defense should take the biggest step forward this week, while the offense still struggles to find its footing, which is why I’m betting under 56.5, and I would bet it down to 52.5 (-110).
I know how appealing the over on the island looks at 11:45 p.m. ET after a long day of college football because I’ve been there, but I don’t see how these two teams can put the many points up Saturday night. The under is also 5-0 in Hawaii’s last five games and 4-2 in Portland State’s last six.