One of the many attractions to betting college football is the action starts early on Saturdays and seems to never end, especially when there’s a late-night game in Honolulu -- and there’s a pretty good one on the islands this week.
With sophomore Hank Bachmeier back at quarterback after a two-game absence, Boise State rolled to a 31-point win over Colorado State last week. The Broncos, who needed a bounce-back performance after getting embarrassed 51-17 by BYU on Nov. 6, are 14-point favorites at Hawaii.
Boise is 4-0 against Hawaii since 2015, winning by an average margin of 33.5 points. The Broncos should not have much trouble scoring 40-plus points in this matchup. The Warriors’ run defense has been atrocious, surrendering 886 rushing yards in the past three games against San Diego State, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Hawaii sophomore quarterback Chevan Cordeiro is capable of lighting up weak defenses, but he’s likely to struggle against the Broncos. If it’s a blowout, Cordeiro can put points on the board in garbage time. The total has dropped from a high of 63.5 to a number with some value.
The pick: Over 56
NEVADA (+ 1.5) over San Diego State: The Wolf Pack (4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS) have the far better quarterback named Carson. Nevada is led by sophomore star Carson Strong, who has 1,517 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and one interception in four games.
The Aztecs’ Carson Baker passed for only 30 yards and threw two interceptions yet was the winning quarterback last week against Hawaii. Baker went 4-for-13 in a 34-10 victory over the Warriors. San Diego State has dropped the past two in the series and was a 17-point favorite in last year’s loss to Nevada, which is solid defensively and obviously has a significant edge at QB.
NORTHWESTERN (+ 7.5) over Wisconsin: In the battle for the top spot in the Big Ten West, Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald looks like a live ‘dog. He’s 17-9-1 ATS in his past 27 in the underdog role and has covered five of the past six versus the Badgers. Fitzgerald’s defense has been tested and is tough, and Indiana transfer quarterback Peyton Ramsey has upgraded the offense.
Wisconsin returned from a long layoff to humiliate Michigan last week, when the Wolverines looked woefully unprepared while falling behind 28-0 and quickly quit on the game. The Badgers’ defense is legit and freshman quarterback Graham Mertz is a rising star, but after burying two bad teams, is Wisconsin overvalued laying more than a touchdown? Fitzgerald typically thrives in these situations.
OKLAHOMA (-7) over Oklahoma State: Cowboys coach Mike Gundy has a 2-13 record against the Sooners, with his last win in the rivalry coming in 2014. Oklahoma had won four in a row before last week’s bye, scoring 62 points in two of those games, and coach Lincoln Riley is doing a nice job of developing freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler.
UTAH (+ 3) over Southern California: The Trojans have a talent advantage against most Pac-12 opponents, but the coaching edge usually points to the other sideline, and in this game it’s pointing to the Utes’ Kyle Whittingham. Utah is making its season debut after two games were canceled because of COVID-19 issues, so the USC coaches will be preparing for a mystery team, which should work to Whittingham’s advantage.
The Utes’ starting quarterback is expected to be a game-time announcement. South Carolina transfer Jake Bentley and Texas transfer Cameron Rising are each good options. USC coach Clay Helton is 15-12 SU and 10-17 ATS the past two-plus seasons. The home team has won seven in a row in the series.
Last week: 1-3