Arizona Wildcats at Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Week 1 Pick

August 24, 10:30 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Hawaii +11

College Football is finally here! On Saturday, August 24th the Arizona Wildcats will travel to the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors to kick-off the 2019-20 season. The Mountain West Conference versus Pac-12 collision set for a 10:30 PM EDT kick-off time and will be televised on CBS Sports Network live from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The two teams last met in 2016 with the Wildcats playing hosts to the Rainbow Warriors in the desert. Arizona would orchestrate a 47-28 victory over Hawaii but failed to come into the money laying 23.5 points to the visitor.

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Arizona Wildcats at Hawaii Rainbow Key Injury Concerns

Heading into the opening game of the season for both teams, neither Arizona nor Hawaii have any injury concerns to key personnel. Both outfits will be fielding a full complement of players as they embark upon their 2019 campaigns.

Arizona Wildcats at Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Overview

Arizona Wildcats

The Wildcats failed to qualify for a bowl game in 2018 when they finished their season 5-7. The manner in which Desert Swarm was unable to obtain bowl eligibility was gut-wrenching, losing by a mere point to arch-nemesis Arizona State by a score of 41-40 in the annual "Duel In The Desert”. With former Texas A&M Head Coach Kevin Sumlin back at the helm for his second season along with returning dual-threat Quarterback Khalil Tate, expectations for Arizona to be a contender in the Pac 12 South race are raised.

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

After going 3-9 in the 2017-18 season, the Rainbow Warriors took a noticeable stride forward in the 2018-19 campaign finishing 8-6. At the core of Hawaii’s success was Junior Quarterback Colt McDonald who threw for over 3,800 yards through the air while collating 36 touchdowns to enable the Warriors to average 30.8 points per game and establish a top-ten passing attack nationally. McDonald will be back in the driver seat in 2019 with the aspiration of leading the Rainbow Warriors to perhaps a 10-win effort.

Reasons To Avoid Arizona Wildcats

There are many reasons why Arizona is a dangerous choice in this market. To begin with, the bias that is associated with Power Five opponents facing Group of Five opposition. As a whole, the consensus is going to lean on any Power Five constituent and favor them over their Group of Five counterparts, even if there is perhaps a trough in quality. I would urge takers to read the fine print as Arizona is a road favorite, and yet they did not make a bowl in 2018. Hawaii will certainly feel slighted being a dog on their own soil, and this will motivate the Warriors. Contrarily, Arizona may enter flat due to being tired and out-of-whack from the long-distance journey across multiple time zones.

Reasons To Back Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

The Rainbow Warriors have an excellent match-up to wreak havoc with their air raid offense. In 2018, Arizona was one of the worst in the country in defending the pass, giving up nearly 270 passing yards per fixture. This unit only brings back six returning starters. What this creates is a scenario for McDonald to unload. In addition to the situational play, the high Over/Under would suggest that this contest will be a shoot-out. In such affairs, the academic approach is to take the points given the fact we are taking back over a touchdown. Both Arizona and Hawaii’s defenses combined gave up an average of 33.9 points per match in 2018, so needless to say this could easily be a back-and-forth affair where we want to be taking back points and not giving them away.

Arizona at Hawaii Prediction 08/24/2019

I would not be shocked by any means if the Rainbow Warriors staged an upset here. After all, in their opening frame in 2018, Hawaii laid siege to Colorado State in their own yard by a score of 43-34 despite closing as over a 17-point underdog. Hawaii would then follow up this result with another upset of a double-digit favorite when they welcomed Navy to Honolulu in the week after that. Quite frankly, I could see Hawaii being priced as a favorite here much to the chagrin of many as they are the better team with a significant home-field advantage. With Arizona on upset-alert, there is more than enough equity here to take back the points as I can't see Hawaii losing this game by more touchdown or more.

Free Pick: 
Take Hawaii +11
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