The Rainbow Warriors have participated in seven Hawaii Bowls, and each of the last four have been one-sided affairs. But oddsmakers have this as a tight one as the Rainbow Warriors take on Louisiana Tech this Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.
The Rainbow Warriors are slim Vegas favourites as they look to improve to 5-3 in their home bowl game. The Bulldogs come into this one having lost three of four games to close out their schedule.
Hawaii Bowl Betting Analysis
Louisiana Tech looked like contenders to win their third Conference USA title in five years earlier in the season, but collapsed down the stretch as they make their fifth straight bowl appearance. But the Bulldogs have been a truly magnificent cover option following a rough outing, having gone 15-2 ATS in their previous 17 games after a loss of 10 or more points. Hawaii, on the other hand, has just nine covers in its past 32 games against teams with winning records.
Fans and bettors should expect fireworks, with the total set at 61 (up from a 57.5 open). And Hawaii should be amenable, having exceeded the total in 12 of their last 15 non-conference games and five of their previous seven bowl appearances. But Louisiana Tech is trending in the opposite direction, having slid below the number in each of its previous five games while going 1-5 O/U in their last six games against teams above .500.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
The Rainbow Warriors also know their most direct path to victory will come via the pass – and they have to feel good about their chances with Cole McDonald under center. McDonald passed for nearly 3,800 yards with 35 touchdowns against just eight interceptions this season. He also had four of the Rainbow Warriors’ 11 rushing scores, though Hawaii didn’t have much success on the ground in 2018, averaging a minuscule 3.8 yards per attempt.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
The Bulldogs will likely do the majority of their damage through the air, with quarterback J’Mar Smith throwing for nearly 2,900 yards with 14 touchdowns. But there are concerns on the offensive side of the ball: Smith completed just 57 percent of his passes during the season, and Jaqwis Darcy (610 yards, nine touchdowns) was the only player on the team to record more than 340 rushing yards. Louisiana Tech finished tied for 99th in points per game (24.2).