College Football Picks: Total Focus & Predictions for Hawai'i Bowl Game

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 1:50 PM GMT

A few years ago, the Hawai'i bowl encounter would attract some the highest college football odds of the season from sportsbooks and still go past the number. Has this continued to date?

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Free Hawai'i Bowl Pick: Under 57
Best Odds Offered By Heritage

 

The matchups for the Bowl season have not seen as many high scoring teams as in previous years. This year's total of 57 from YouWager would seem to lend itself to a parlay. If you prefer Cincinnati or the OVER, they would appear to be a match, and for college football picks if you aligned with the UNDER or San Diego State, that twosome sure sounds like it would go together.

What side of the college football odds should you be on for totals sports picks? Let's break it all down.

 

Cincinnati's Case for High or Low Number
Cincinnati has moved the ball on everyone they have played this season and finished fifth in total offense at 559 yards per contest. Their field general is Gunner Kiel, which seems like the appropriate first name for someone running passing attack which threw for 373.1 yards a game (4th nationally).

The Bearcats averaged 36.1 points a game, but was also poor defensively across the board in conceding 30.2 PPG versus opposing offenses which averaged 27.8 PPG. Despite Cincinnati outcomes averaging over 66 total points, oddsmakers had the right read on coach Tommy Tuberville's club with 6-6 totals record.

In digging deeper in the numbers, Cincy was also dead even in away games for totals at 3-3, even though the average score was actually higher at 70.2. No question the influence of facing a squad like San Diego State suppresses the total, yet the Bearcats were 3-1 OVER when the total was in the 50's. When looking into the four best defensive teams, they took on when reviewing points allowed, Cincinnati again was 3-1 OVER, in which the defense was not good, but the offense moved the ball.

 

San Diego State's Case for High or Low Number
Similar to Cincinnati, those posting totals in San Diego State were on target, with the Aztecs 7-6 UNDER. San Diego State is a running team who is patient when it comes to throwing and picks its spot to use this method effectively. San Diego State averages 31.4 PPG, but it is coach Rocky Long's defense which is influencing this contest, surrendering only 17.2 PPG. That works to 48.6 total points and with Cincinnati at 66.3, divided that complete total by two and you don't have to be a football handicapper guru to see where the total of 57 came from.

The Aztecs offense was off just a little away from almost always pleasant San Diego at 29.4 PPG and its defense coughed up a few more points at 20.7 points in six outings, leaving them at 3-3 for betting purposes. Their highest posted total all year was 59 and when surveying all totals in the 50's, the Aztecs were 3-1 UNDER.

 

What's the Outcome?
Cincinnati will have a few offensive wrinkles to try and confuse San Diego State's defense, which they hope leads to quick scores. The same is also true of coach Long's 3-3-5 defense, which allows San Diego State to blitz from different angles and also disguise coverage's. This could make Kiel a little hesitant and slow the Bearcats offense.

Coach Tuberville's calling card in his days at Auburn was defense, though that has not been the case in the Queen City. But make no mistake, Cincinnati will load the box to do whatever it takes to stop San Diego State's running game which is 15th in the country. He will want to find out if backup quarterback Christian Chapman is accurate enough to defeat his defense.

Look for both squads to have success moving the ball, but when they reach the opposing teams 25-yard line, they will bog down more often than what you might expect and Cincinnati turnovers will end drives, which will result in an UNDER finish.