Saturday College Football Odds & Picks for Boise State vs. Hawaii: Bet the Broncos Over the ‘Bows
Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Hawaii Rainbow Warriors wide receiver Melquise Stovall (10).
- What's better than a late-night matchup featuring Hawaii on the Island? Very few things.
- After cranking up their offense in the past couple of weeks, the Broncos will look to hold the Rainbow Warriors in check on the road.
- Collin Wilson breaks down this nightcap and shares a betting pick based on his analysis below.
Boise State vs. Hawaii Odds
|Boise State Odds||-13.5 [BET NOW]|
|Hawaii Odds||+13.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-600/+420 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||55.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||11 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS Sports Network|
Boise State Broncos
In the past two games, it has been a quarterback merry-go-round with Hank Bachmeier, Jack Sears and Cade Fennegan. Head coach Bryan Harsin mentioned that 14 players missed the Colorado State victory due to quarantine procedure. The defensive trench analytics may be skewed, as Boise has had offensive and defensive lineman switch roles due to depth issues entering the season.
Boise’s strength comes via pass explosiveness — particularly from Bachmeier. The starter returned to action last week, throwing for 202 yards along with four passes of 15 yards or more.
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) November 13, 2020
The Broncos now rank fifth in Finishing Drives, averaging 5.2 points per trip past the opponent 40-yard line. Boise State is an astounding 12-for-12 in red-zone-trips to-touchdown ratio. That incredible red-zone efficiency has helped the Broncos cover for their defensive deficiencies, from allowing pass explosiveness to Defensive Finishing Drives. The updated special teams boost came from multiple punt blocks against the Rams.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
A nightmare trip to San Diego ended in a 24-point loss as the Aztecs exposed the biggest hole of the Hawaii defense: Front seven run-stoppers. San Diego State rushed for 326 yards on an average of 6.4 yards per carry.
The Rainbow Warriors gave up six runs of 20 yards or more, which falls squarely in line with their 102nd-place rank in Opponent Rush Expected Points this season. Missed tackles also continued to be a problem for the ‘Bows. Hawaii now ranks 123rd out of 126 FBS teams in tackling grade, per Pro Football Focus.
On the other side of the ball, the story is Hawaii’s new GoGo offense under G. J. Kinne and wide receivers coach Brennan Marion. The scheme transition has successfully achieved chunk yardage on the ground, but the passing game lacks sustainability. Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro has been asked to lead an offense that primarily lines up in 10 and 20 personnel with a few wrinkles.
Cordeiro is the team leader in rushing categories such as yards per attempt and avoided tackles. The offensive line ranks sixth in Line Yards, but Cordeiro has contributed 136 yards on 20 scramble attempts. The quarterback’s legs are vitally important to the passing game. Keeping the secondary grounded allows home run-hitting wide receiver Calvin Turner to get free.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The news to monitor heading into Saturday night’s contest is who exactly will be on Boise State’s charter jet to the island. The Broncos have dealt with COVID-19 weekly, including 14 players in quarantine in last Friday’s game.
The Broncos are expected to have a full boat of players make the six-hour flight to Honolulu for their Week 12 matchup against the ‘Bows.
The No. 1 handicap in this game is whether or not Cordeiro can be stopped on designed and scramble rush attempts. Those plays have given Hawaii the 15th-most explosive ground attack at a tempo that ranks 23rd in seconds per play.
Boise State reports very poor numbers against the rush, and it’s important to remember that the defense has suffered the most with regards to COVID-19. Meanwhile, the Rainbow Warriors will only cover the spread if they improve in Offensive Finishing Drives.
The Boise pass defense has been excellent, posting a rank of 24th in Opponent Success Rate and a top-10 ranking in Opponent Third-Down Conversions. Despite those daunting opposing numbers, Hawaii will run an uptempo offense similar to that of Colorado State, which had 17 possessions in the game against Boise State.
If the Broncos are granted 15 offensive possessions due to Hawaii’s pace, then Boise State should deliver a lengthy highlight reel. The ‘Bows rank 85th in opponent pass explosiveness and 123rd in tackling — both of which serve as propellants enabling the Broncos to put ample points on the board.
Considering Boise State’s sterling red-zone efficiency, taking the traveling Broncos over their team total and against the spread is the best bet.
Picks: Boise State -14 or better | Boise State Team Total Over 37.5