Last Call: Trends Favor Surprising Utah State at Hawaii

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, November 1, 2018 11:16 AM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 11:16 AM UTC

Expect the Utah State Aggies to sing "Aloha Oe" when they take on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors late Saturday/early Sunday. 

2018 NCAAF Record: 23-15, +12.25u

Record includes official Twitter selections (@mlathrop3)

Utah State Aggies (7-1 SU) @ Hawaii Warriors (6-4 SU)Saturday, 11:59 p.m. ESTFree NCAAF Pick: Utah State ATS/OverBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Utah State Aggies have been on a roll this year, and a seriously good team to bet on with a 7-1 ATS record in a year that almost started with a road upset over Michigan State in Week 1. They are off to their best start since 1965 and are ranked for the first time since 2012, coming in 18th in the latest AP poll. In their seven wins they have averaged 52 points and nearly 500 yards per offense. Their defense isn’t as dominant, but is creating a lot of turnovers, a deadly combination when you give a potent offense more possessions.

After a hot start, Hawaii has lost 3 games in a row to some of the tougher Mountain West foes that they have in their schedule, less Utah State of course. Their quarterback, Cole McDonald, has slowed down in those losses and hasn’t had a 300-yard passing game since Week 6 at San Jose State. Still, a 30/4 TD/INT ratio is very good, as is his overall 158.3 QB Rating. The Warriors also appear headed to a bowl game in what is already a successful season for the rebounding team.

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@SBRSportsPicks Just submitted article 1,123 to the SBR crew. A parlay, of course.

I will be taking a break for a bit from the writing grind - have some big upcoming events/transitions with the winery to tend to - but will still be posting plays here. Have to ride that bull! pic.twitter.com/n7hDhYS1FP

— Mark Lathrop (@mlathrop3) November 1, 2018
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These teams have met just once over the last three seasons, with the Aggies romping Hawaii at home last year by a score of 38-0. The time of possession in the game really sticks out, with Utah State putting up that amount of scoring – and 311 yards on the ground – in just 21:35 minutes. Hawaii allows a robust 439 yards per game in total offense this year, so I’m expecting that the Aggies will be able to score at will again. The oddsmakers also agreed by putting a sky-high total of 70.5 on the game.

As I write this, the line has creeped from the important number of 17 to 18.5 at books such as 5Dimes. That is not an insignificant move and one that has me taking pause on touching the side at that line. The Aggies are 4-0 when favored by 19 points or more this season however, so they don’t have any letup in them. That trend has also led to a 7-1 Over record as well. When looking at 2nd half scoring for those heavily favored blowouts, we see that the Aggies scored 27 against New Mexico State, 28 against Tennessee Tech, 17 against UNLV, and 9 against New Mexico (They scored 52 points in the first half in that one).

I’m seeing a team that wants style points, and for that reason I will back a play parlaying Utah State -17 and Over 70 (buying points) as my Saturday last call NCAAF pick.

Writers Note: This will be the last article of the NCAAF season for me, and my 1,123rd article with SBR since joining the team. I will be taking a leave of absence to focus on my winery business, hopefully back soon with the creative juices flowing. Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter @mlathrop3 for what I’ll be wagering on in the future.

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