Late night special, or early morning special whichever way you look at it. We’re going all the way out to Hawaii for our final play of the day. Just a quick note, don’t feel inclined to chase on this game if you had a bad day. These games in Hawaii are always the last call for a sports bettor. No chase for me, I just see this as a spot for a winning pick. The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will welcome the New Mexico Lobos to the island for some fun in Honolulu. Hawaii have never been back on the same level as they were in 2008. If you recall, the Rainbow Warriors earned a trip to the Sugar Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs. It didn’t go so well for them in a 41-10 thrashing. But just getting to a bowl game of that caliber was a win. Head coach June Jones opted to take a contract with SMU the following season and Hawaii hasn’t been the same, nor has June Jones for that matter.
June Jones is coaching in Hawaii, but it isn’t at the University of Hawaii, he is the offensive coordinator for a high school football team. Jones made enough money during his coaching career to live comfortably, but it’s certainly been a fall from grace since 2008. The Hawaii football team would just love to get back to a bowl game. If they become bowl eligible, they will automatically play in the Hawaii Bowl at home. It would be a nice season for Hawaii if they make it and win a well.
They already have four wins with a record of 4-3, so the prospects of them making bowl season is looking good. They enter as favorites this evening against New Mexico, so things are looking up even more. The Rainbow Warriors will have the advantage of playing at home in Hawaii tonight. It’s some serious home field advantage here. There is the long flight over and then the distraction of treating this as a business trip. New Mexico isn’t here for vacation, but I’m sure a few people would like it that way. The Lobos are going to throw everything they have at Hawaii on the ground. This team can run the football with the best of them. In fact, they are the best of them. Hawaii just got done playing a triple-option offense last week, a 34-27 win in overtime against Air Force. They will welcome a similar offense to Hawaii in Week 9.
New Mexico Lobos vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors NCAAF Betting Odds:
New Mexico +4.5(-110)
vs. Hawaii -4.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
New Mexico vs. Hawaii Pick:
Hawaii handled the triple-option considerably well against Air Force. They held the Falcons to 27 points in their win. Air Force were never able to open up the big plays to get Hawaii thinking they can’t defend their offense. The danger for Hawaii in this game is thinking that it’s just going to be that easy again this week against New Mexico. They need to get the Air Force game out of their heads in a way. New Mexico are 1st in the FBS in rushing by a large margin. They are averaging a staggering 374.1 points per game. The Lobos are fresh off 45-40 and 59-17 wins. Air Force runs the same offense, but couldn’t stop New Mexico either in the 45-40 final.
Hawaii are 122nd in the country at defending the run. They are giving up 257.4 yards per game. They got out of the Air Force game relatively unscathed and played considerably well for a team bad against the run. However, they’re going to be counted on in back-to-back weeks to stop a vaunted running attack. Further, this is a team who is better at running the triple-option than Air Force are. New Mexico are scoring 40 points per game, compared to 33.3 a game for Air Force. The door may break down for Hawaii in this one.
New Mexico is going to have a heck of a time trying to slow down wide receiver Marcus Kemp. The 6’4” receiver has already hauled in 42 balls for 787 yards. New Mexico has struggled against taller receivers, Kemp will pose this problem against a secondary who are 75th in the nation. Hawaii employ a balanced offense under quarterback Dru Brown. Brown has been solid with 9 touchdown passes and 3 interceptions on the year. Diocemy Saint Juste leads the offense on the ground with 603 yards. The Lobos are allowing 33.9 points per game in 2016. I expect something in the mid-30’s on the scoreboard for Hawaii. Conversely, New Mexico should be able to run their way to around 40 points. I like a play on the OVER for this late night Mountain West contest.
PICK: OVER 64 POINTS (-110)