|11 HAW (-110) @ williamhill|
8* Take Hawaii (#277)
Houston’s head coach, Dana Holgorson, truly has a dismal track record in bowl games. In his last six bowl games dating back to his tenure at West Virginia, Holgorson’s teams have lost five times, four of them by double digit margins: 34-18, 30-14, 31-14, 45-37 and 38-14. The only win came by a single point in the 2015 Cactus Bowl against Arizona State. It’s surely worth noting that his teams were favored in three of those bowls and short underdogs (less than a touchdown) in the other three – Holgorson’s teams weren’t outclassed in any of them. Yet we’re still talking about an 0-6 ATS bowl run from this head coach, a trend worthy riding here.
Houston is also dealing with significant personnel losses. They’ve had numerous players opt out of the bowl game, including their top receiver and multiple starters on defense. They’re having issues with players flunking their classes and becoming ineligible as a result. Holgorson: “I think some kids forgot if they fail classes it didn’t go against GPA but it goes against being bowl eligible.” And a team that had six different games this season impacted by COVID issues still has COVID issues heading into their bowl. Coming off a clunker in their season finale, losing as favorites against Memphis, facing an opponent that doesn’t get their attention in a lesser tier in-state bowl game, this team has no business as double digit chalk on New Year’s Eve.
Todd Graham, unlike Holgorson, has shown plenty of ‘bet-on’ potential in bowl games in previous stops. From all indications, Hawaii is excited to be here. Offensive coordinator GJ Kinne after practice on Tuesday: “We had a great practice today, guys were flying around…we can’t wait to get out there on national TV and let it loose…..I think they’re ready to go and we’re excited about this game….We’ve got to come out here and get a win.” I personally put a little sprinkle on the moneyline at +340 to augment my position on the Warriors plus the points. Take Hawaii