The Memphis Tigers (6-6) will head to Hawai’i to take on the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (6-7) in Honolulu on Christmas Eve for the Hawai’i Bowl.
Memphis kicked off the season with a three-game winning streak, even beating Mississippi State. However, they lost three straight after that and lost momentum as they finished seventh in the American Athletic Conference.
Hawai’i didn’t find that type of streak at any point during the season. Still, they added a key win in the middle of the season against No. 18 Fresno State, followed by a close loss to No. 24 San Diego State down the stretch that led them to the Hawai’i bowl as they finished fourth in the Mountain West Conference.
Time to dive into the Hawai’i Bowl and take a look at who you should bet on when these teams face off in Honolulu.
All NCAAF gameday odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and updated as of 11:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, December 15.
Memphis vs. Hawai’i Prediction
Memphis heads to Honolulu in an evident road game-style environment with a -7 spread as the road favorites.
Hawai’i, on paper, doesn’t look as well built as Memphis, but they are in a friendly home environment, and their quarterback Chevan Cordeiro is coming off a four-touchdown and 400-plus yard performance over Wyoming that clinched their Bowl eligible status.
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The Memphis passing attack, led by Seth Henigan, is 17th in college football averaging 298.8 passing yards per game.
There’s an important caveat in this game, as Calvin Austin III, the star Tigers wide receiver, has decided to sit out this game and prepare for the NFL Draft. He had 1,149 yards on 74 receptions and eight touchdowns.
Not having Austin III out there makes this game more open than some would have expected.
Hawai’i Bowl Prediction: Hawai’i 30, Memphis 28
Hawai’i Bowl Best Bets
Best Bet: Hawai’i +7 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 2 units
Hawai’i may not have been the streakier team, but they finished with the same amount of wins as Memphis and don’t have their best offensive weapon out for the game.
I really can’t stress enough how big of a loss Memphis is dealing with in this game without Calvin Austin III. This seems like an upset alert type of game, but only because the odds made it that way. For two teams with the same number of wins, giving Hawaii more than a touchdown seems ridiculous.
Memphis has not been great against the spread this year, with just 3 wins out of 12. I think the Rainbow Warriors are headed towards winning this game outright, which covers this one easily.
Best Bet: Over 56 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 unit
I have this game going over 56 with my prediction, but I can see this being more of a higher-scoring game than that.
Hawai’i forces turnovers (27 of them), and they will have a chance to blow this game up, especially if Cordeiro plays like he did last game against Wyoming. They have a dual-threat there, and I expect him to put points on the board.
On the other side, Memphis has an explosive offense even without Calvin Austin III, as they can still put up points. Both teams have gone over the total points spread five teams each this season.
I like the over in this one in a fun back and forth game that comes down to the final drive.
Thanks for reading our Hawai’i Bowl Predictions & Best Bets! For more CFB betting tips, check out our CFB Pick of the Day.