College Football Picks ATS - Take The Chalk As Arizona Faces Jet Lagged Hawaii

Jay Pryce

Friday, September 16, 2016 6:22 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 16, 2016 6:22 PM UTC

Arizona and Hawaii clash in the desert (10:45 p.m. ET) Saturday night, the nightcap for Week 3 of the 2014 college football season. Need a late-action play? We got ya covered. 

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (1-2 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Hawaii embarks on yet another road trip this weekend, its third of the young season. The program has picked up a victory in just one of its last 26 games away from Aloha Stadium, going 11-15 ATS during the run on College Football odds.

Can the Rainbow Warriors shock college football this weekend as 24-point pups in Arizona? Highly unlikely, especially after struggling to put away FCS foes Tennessee-Martin 41-36 in Honolulu last Saturday.

Since the Pac-12 formed in 2011 with the addition of the University of Colorado and the University of Utah, Hawaii is 2-8 SU and 8-2 ATS against the conference. The betting market appears to often overestimate the Power Five conference. Kicking off as 15.4-point dogs on average, the Rainbow Warriors are covering the spread by 5.9 points per game. Most of the good performances have come at home where visiting teams adjust to the time difference. On the road, or on neutral footing, Hawaii is 0-5 SU and 3-2 ATS.

On offense, Hawaii is led by quarterback Ikaika Woolsey. The redshirt senior tossed for 205 yards and four touchdowns on 9-of-18 passing last time out. Former Eastern Washington offensive coordinator Zak Hill calls the plays, and he is a up-tempo, pass-first guy. The skill positions are lacking, however.

The defense is one of most inefficient in college football. It allows 10 yards per point, ranking 110 in the FBS. The run stopping is horrid, but the secondary returns three starters. D-coordinator Kevin Lempa rolls out an aggressive unit that attempts to pressure the quarterback, causing it to get burned often when things go awry. The defense put in a less-than-stellar performance last weekend,  surrendering 418 total yards and 22 first downs against Tennessee-Martin

This is the fifth meeting between the two programs. Arizona has claimed victory in each, including a 27-6 win in Honolulu as 17-point chalk the last time they clashed in 1998.


Arizona Wildcats (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS)
Arizona’s season started on a sour note. After dropping the opener to BYU at Phoenix, it was forced to rally from a 21-3 halftime deficit to beat Grambling State 31-21 at home on Saturday.

Sophomore quarterback Brandon Dawkins is likely to make consecutive starts as Anu Solomon came up questionable on the Wildcats injury report for the second week in a row. Dawkins accounted for 320 yards and three touchdowns last game, looking every bit the dual-threat option. He rushed for 97 yards on 16 carries, while tossing for 223 yards on 15-of-29 passes.

The defense swarmed Grambling State in the second half after receiving a tongue-lashing from head coach Rich Rodriguez at the break. They forced six takeaways resulting in 21 Wildcats points. Expect a similar aggressive attack from the get-go against Hawaii. The unit likely be without starting safety Tellas Jones again. He’s listed as questionable for the second consecutive week.

The OVER is 6-1 when Arizona clashes with Mountain West Conference opponents under Rodriguez. A combined score of 71.7 points has surpassed a 65.9 average total by nearly a touchdown per game on average. Arizona’s offense has come to life in these games, scoring over its projected total in all but two.


Final Analysis
The Rainbow Warriors have already racked up some serious frequent-flyer miles after cruising to Sydney, Australia to face Cal, then to Michigan to face the Wolverines, and now Arizona. Although the program is accustomed to the long treks, it’s never kicked off a season as travel-weary as this one. They’ve journeyed over 20,000 miles and are slated to accrue 45,000 by season’s end. Jet lag anyone?

The numbers for this matchup are very tight. We predict it 45-23 for Arizona, but can see the Cats defense making a statement in this one. My college football pick is a recommendation to lay the 23.5 points dealing at Bookmaker or 5Dimes. Remember to check SBR's list of the top online sportsbook bonuses, and see who is giving out the best deal.


College Football Free Picks: Arizona -23.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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