College Football Betting: Hawaii Bowl Pick

The Hawaii Bowl, played on an island on Christmas Eve, is a game in which the participating teams can easily be distracted by the fact that they’re taking a tour of a beach-laden paradise. Over the past five years, this game has been a source of bowl upsets. SMU has scored surprise victories over Nevada and Fresno State. Tulsa also shocked Hawaii by 27 points a few years ago. Will this game provide a normal result or an unexpected one? Given that one should expect the unexpected in the Hawaii Bowl, it’s not easy to arrive at a confident football betting pick in this game.

2013 Hawaii Bowl

Oregon State Beavers vs. Boise State Broncos

NCAA Football Odds: Oregon State -3

Why The Beavers Can Cover The Spread:

They really do have the better team. Oregon State has the quarterback – Sean Mannion – who can throw at will, and with great success, against Boise State’s weak secondary. The Beavers have the receiver – Brandin Cooks – who can get open on deep passes and make life miserable for Boise State’s cornerbacks. The Beavers were terrible in November, but they did come alive in their rivalry game against the Oregon Ducks. With over three weeks to regroup and prepare for this game, it’s quite reasonable to expect that Oregon State will play with a level of enthusiasm that was missing for a long stretch of the season. It’s also reasonable to expect that the Beavers’ passing game will sort out the issues that plagued it in much of November. The fact that Oregon State will be playing Boise State, and not Washington or Arizona State, should also help the Beavers a great deal. The nature of the matchup from an X-and-O standpoint should open up a lot of big plays in the passing game for the Beavers, who should score a lot of touchdowns in this contest.

Why The Broncos Can Cover The Spread:

They might catch Oregon State on a night when the Beavers fail to play with passion. Oregon State really expected to be a lot better than 6-6 during the regular season. The Beavers had played for the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) championship in the 2008 season. They’ve won nine games in multiple seasons over the past decade. They’re not happy with a 6-6 mark, and this is why they could be depressed or distracted in this game. Boise State might very well be happier to play in this game than Oregon State. The reason? Boise State – though losing head coach Chris Petersen – hired former offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin as its head coach. The hire of Harsin is a very popular one for Boise State alumni and players. The Broncos could have been in a position to collapse in this game, but with the hire of Harsin, their mood might be different. This could have a big impact on the way this game flows.

Outlook

This game comes down to the mindset of Oregon State. The feeling here is that the Beavers won’t regroup, thereby enabling Boise State to take control of this contest and cover the spread.

Pick: Boise State +3

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