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Hawaii vs. LA Tech - Hawaii Bowl - 12/22/18 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

LA Tech Bulldogs (7-5) at Hawaii Warriors (8-5)

College Football: Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 10:30 pm (Aloha Stadium)

The Line: Hawaii Warriors -2.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will square off in the SOFI Hawaii Bowl on December 22nd at Aloha Stadium.

The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors had a great start to their season, winning 6 of their first 7 games, and returned to the Hawaii Bowl for the second time in the last three seasons after finishing the year with an overall record of 8-5 (5-3 MW – West). Hawaii recovered from a 4-game losing streak to win their final two games of the season, including a solid 31-30 victory at San Diego State, and will be looking for their 2nd straight Bowl Victory after defeating the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, 52-35, in the 2016 Hawaii Bowl.

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Hawaii vs. LA Tech - Hawaii Bowl - 12/22/18 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

On the season, Hawaii is averaging 32.1 ppg on 434.8 total yards per game (321.2 passing yds/g; 113.5 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Hawaii was led by QB Cole McDonald who completed 59.3% of his passes for 35 TD & 8 INT while averaging 315.8 passing yds/g. The receiving threats for the Rainbow Warriors have been John Ursua (6.8 rec/g; 103.3 yds/g; 16 TD), Cedric Byrd (5.8 rec/g; 72.2 yds/g; 9 TD), and JoJo Ward (3.9 rec/g; 66.5 yds/g; 9 TD). Leading the way for the Hawaii rushing attack has been the duo of Dayton Furuta (7.5 att/g; 37.5 yds/g; 2 TD) & Fred Holly III (7.6 att/g; 31.6 yds/g; 4 TD).

Defensively, Hawaii is allowing their opponents to average 35.4 ppg on 438.7 total yards per game (231.2 passing yds/g; 207.5 rushing yds/g). The Rainbow Warriors have only forced 9 turnovers on the season and finished the regular season with a -9 turnover margin.

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs lost 3 of their last 4 regular season games, however, did enough damage at the beginning of the season to finish their season with an overall record of 8-5 (5-3 C-USA West) to earn their 5th consecutive Bowl Game. Louisiana Tech picked up solid wins agianst North Texas and FAU during the regular season, however, their offense struggled down the stretch after they averaged just 17.5 ppg in their last two games of the season vs. Southern Mississippi & Western Kentucky.

On the season, Louisiana Tech is averaging 24.2 ppg on 373.2 total yards per game (246.8 passing yds/g; 126.4 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Louisiana Tech has been led by QB J’Mar Smith who has completed 57.0% of his passes for 14 TD & 9 INT while averaging 239.6 passing yds/g. The top receivers for the Bulldogs have been Adrian Hardy (5.8 rec/g; 87.7 yds/g; 6 TD), Teddy Veal (5.6 rec/g; 55.4 yds/g; TD), and Alfred Smith (2.3 rec/g; 26.1 yds/g; 2 TD). Leading the way for the Louisiana Tech backfield has been the duo of Jaqwis Dancy (10.9 att/g; 61.0 yds/g; 9 TD) & Kam McKnight (6.6 att/g; 28.0 yds/g; 6 TD).

Defensively, Louisiana Tech is allowing their opponents to average 23.8 ppg on 350.9 total yards per game (193.6 passing yds/g; 157.3 rushing yds/g). The Bulldogs have forced 19 turnovers on the season and finished the regular season with a turnover margin of +3.

The Rainbow Warriors are 15-34-2 ATS in their last 51 games overall and just 9-23 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.

Hawaii had a top-10 passing offense this year however, the defense struggled once agianst as the Rainbow Warriors rank just 111th in scoring defense. Louisiana Tech doesn’t blow you away on either end of the field, however, is a solid club that is led by their defense that ranks 33rd in total defense. I’m always a little nervous going with Hawaii as their defense can give up a ton of points, however, I think the passing attack will find success against the Bulldogs and as this is basically a home game for the Rainbow Warriors, I think they do enough to cover this small spread.

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