Bryan Harsin takes his team on the road to Honolulu for the Boise State at Hawaii pick that will cap off the NCAA week 12 slate (11PM ET, CBSSN). The Broncos played angry last week, toppling Colorado State 52-21 at home as -14 favorites following Boise State’s 51-17 thumping from BYU the week earlier.
Hawaii is a +13.5 underdog Saturday night from Aloha Stadium, and the Rainbow Warriors won their only home contest this year, 39-33 against New Mexico two weeks ago but as -14 point favorites. Boise State has only played one game away from the blue turf of Albertsons Stadium this year, but it was an impressive 49-30 win over Air Force in Colorado Springs. 66% of the public likes BSU going away Saturday night.
Boise State Finding Ways to Win
Boise State gained just 89 yards rushing on 37 carries last week and threw for only 202 yards vs. the Rams. The Broncos still won by 31 points however thanks to two blocked punt TDs and a fumble recovery in the end zone. One would think if Hawaii just avoids devastating mistakes they’ll have a good chance of staying in this one.
At the very least, Boise State found a way to win last week in multiple facets as the offense was expected to stumble a bit with the return of Hank Bachmeier. The Broncos QB is the uncontested starter, but also hadn’t played since the season opening 42-13 win over Utah State. Bachmeier had 9 TDs to 4 INT as a freshman last season, but has shown improvement with 4 TD and 0 INT in two games in 2020. He’ll be better playing in a second consecutive game as well.
As good as Bachmeier has the potential to be, Boise State would be wise to get their ground game going on Saturday night. Hawaii has allowed 281, 279, and 326 yards rushing the last three weeks, solidifying the Rainbow Warriors spot as the worst run defense in the Mountain West Conference.
Hawaii Ready to Hang In a Shootout?
The Rainbow Warriors defense seems to be a huge liability heading into the Boise State at Hawaii pick. Todd Graham’s squad has allowed over 30 points in three straight games, and is facing a Boise State team that has put up at least 49 in each of their last three. It’s looking like if Hawaii wants to stay close here, they may need to have a breakout offensive performance.
Of course there’s always the chance that the Boise State offense falls flat making just their second road trip of the season. Playing in Hawaii also has its share of distractions, but the Broncos have put up 52, 49, and 54 points in their last three trips to Honolulu. Hawaii has conversely scored 16, 14, and 9 points respectively in those games. Uh-oh.
Hawaii’s biggest problem ahead of Saturday night’s game is that they don’t really know who they are. It looked like a different year after the Rainbow Warriors ran for 323 and passed for 229 in the season opening win over Fresno State. Hawaii has scored 10 points or less in two of the last three, but also have a 410 yard, 4 TD performance from QB Chevan Cordeiro mixed in there in the win over New Mexico at home.
Free Boise State at Hawaii Pick
Hawaii has an advantage at home on Saturday night, but the fact that they simply cannot stop the opponent’s run game scares off any possible wager on the Rainbow Warriors. The betting total has dropped from 63 to 55 because of an 18 MPH win circling in Honolulu. Mother Nature forcing the Broncos to run even more is a recipe for disaster for Hawaii.
Boise State 48 – Hawaii 19
Pick: Boise State -13.5