Hawaii vs. UMass Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, UMass is the slight favorite, as it is getting odds of -2 points against Hawaii. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 61.5 points. These two met last season, with Hawaii getting a 46-40 win at home as a 9-point favorite. Today’s game will take place from Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst, Massachusetts.
UMass is coming off a 2-10 season in 2016. The Minutemen were 7-5 against the spread on the season, with a 3-3 mark ATS at home. The offense and defense of UMass ranked outside the top 100 in 2016. UMass averaged just 23.3 points per game while allowing 35.5 per game. The team returns Andrew Ford at quarterback. He threw for 2,665 yards and 26 touchdowns last season with 14 interceptions. He returns his top two receivers this year in Adam Breneman and Andy Isabella, who combined for 1,609 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in 2016. Marquis Young is also back at running back after rushing for 898 yards last season.
Hawaii is coming off a 7-7 season in 2016, which included three road wins. The Warriors were 6-7 against the spread during the year and 4-3 ATS on the road. Hawaii averaged 28.3 points per game in 2016, but allowed 37.3 per contest. The Warriors also return their QB in Dru Brown, who threw for 2,488 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. However, Brown lost his top target in Marcus Kemp, who had 1,100 yards in 2016. Brown does have his leading rusher next to him, though, in Dicomey Saint Juste. Saint Juste rushed for 1,006 yards in 2016.
Both teams have some good offensive pieces, but Hawaii still has a little strong history as a program. UMass may return a lot, but it’s returning pieces that won just two games. Hawaii played a much tougher schedule and still won seven games. I think going on the road is something the Warriors can handle, especially since it is to start the season. UMass still has some things to learn about winning close games, so I will take Hawaii with the points.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: HAWAII +2