If you’ve been following along with the Burke’s Best Bet picks, the closest you’re going to get to a Hawaiian vacation is this week’s selection. It’s been a rough 1-5 start, although, the other game previews are going along swimmingly. It’s always fun to have a bunch of games in mind that win and then the one in the spotlight is the one that does not. Such is life and such is gambling. As it turns out, this might be a difficult thing to do, picking one game each week on a loaded card of games. Nevertheless, we move forward and we do so with the sun and sand of Waikiki Beach as our backdrop.
UNLV vs. Hawaii College Football Preview
Date/Time: Saturday October 15, 11:59 p.m. ET
TV: Local TV
College Football Betting Odds from 5Dimes
College Football Betting Favorite: Hawaii -9
Aloha, friends. You are looking live at a college football free pick preview that will hopefully find a way to win. The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors have done some #winning this season, enough to make Charlie Sheen excited enough to go back to the ladies of the night and the nose candy. Or so I’m guessing. Hawaii is 4-1 against the number this season and 3-3 straight up. They actually won on the road at San Jose State last week, so Nick Rolovich is doing work in paradise. UNLV is not #winning. They are 3-3 against the spread, but 1-3 over their last four games. They are 2-4 in the wins and losses column.
Dalton Sneed sounds more like a villain in Rocky and Bullwinkle than a college football quarterback, but he is. Tony Sanchez and the UNLV coaching staff seem to have no idea what to do at that position. Sneed was 2-of-12 for nine yards passing in the loss to San Diego State last week. He did run 12 times for 56 yards, but it was an abhorrent display of passing. He’ll be under center here again this week, unless the Rebels are prepared to rip a redshirt off of somebody or figure something else out. It was Sneed’s first career road start and it didn’t go well. UNLV has run the rock well, as they have averaged 5.8 yards per carry as a team with 14 of their 21 offensive touchdowns, so that’s a silver lining and Sneed is a better runner than Johnny Stanton.
UNLV’s defense is improved, but there’s still a lot going on here. They have held opponents to 29.7 points per game, but they have allowed 408 yards per game and 5.5 yards per play. The Rebels had a string of five straight overs snapped with last week’s game at San Diego State, which was played at a pace that made snails wonder why it was moving so slowly. Over the last three weeks, UNLV has played Idaho, Fresno State, and San Diego State, which are hardly offenses that are going to move up and down the field. Keep all of that context in mind week after week.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors:
Hawaii’s road win over San Jose State was its first road win since…they beat San Jose State in 2014. It was just their second road win since 2011. That’s really impressive for a team that has 11 wins over the last four full seasons. Nick Rolovich has this team halfway to a bowl game and they get UNLV, New Mexico, and UMass at home, with a winnable game at Fresno State, left on the schedule. The move to Dru Brown has been a success. Brown has run for 6.8 yards per attempt and has thrown for 714 yards while completing 68 percent of his passes. This is a much different team with the sophomore at the helm. Hawaii has run for 5.2 yards per carry on the year and they’ve scored 28, 38, and 34 since Brown took over against Arizona.
The defense still has some big problems, but California scored 51, Michigan scored 63, and Arizona scored 47. It was going to take time for everybody to settle in with new defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa. Lempa was the defensive backs coach at Boston College, so it’s not a big surprise that Hawaii seems to be doing better against the pass than the run. Hawaii had a trial by fire early on in the season with some good offenses, but they played very well against both Nevada and San Jose State. The Rainbow Warriors aren’t favored often and they haven’t been favored yet this season with no line in the Tennessee-Martin game. They are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven as home favorites, but this line is growing and it’s a line move that makes a lot of sense.
Burke’s Best Bet for Week 7: Hawaii -9
Yes, we’ve lost some line value on this game, as the Rainbow Warriors were originally a five-point favorite, but it is such a hard place for opponents to play. UNLV has a ton of problems at the quarterback position and Hawaii has fared well the last two weeks against competition that is closer to its talent level. Hawaii gets about five points for its home field advantage. The initial line would suggest that these two teams are equal, but the line movement and the current line would suggest that they are not. I tend to agree.
Kyle Hunter is 26-9 in last 35 college plays. $300 special this week for all college football totals this year.Every single totals play from now through the end of the college football season. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or send him a message on twitter for more details.