California vs Hawaii College Football Expert Pick & Odds
College football is a 100 percent American sport. So of course the 2016 season kicks off about as many miles from the United States as possible as California faces Hawaii on Friday night from Sydney, Australia. It’s the first-ever NCAA football game in Sydney and first in the country since 1987. The Bears are big favorites on NCAA football lines. Hawaii is technically the home team. The game kicks off at noon Sydney time on Saturday.
How To Bet on the California vs Hawaii College Football Expert Pick, Odds & TV Info
When: Friday, Aug. 26, 10 PM ET
Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Radio: California / Hawaii
Opening NCAAF Lines: Cal -20 (64)
California vs Hawaii Historic Betting Trends
Cal and Hawaii have split their four previous meetings. Hawaii won 21-7 the last time the teams played in 1994 in Berkeley, Calif. Cal won in 1968 and 1993, while Hawaii was victorious in 1934. Previous to the game in 1994, all contests were played in Honolulu. The Bears were originally scheduled to begin their 2016 season on Sept. 3 against South Dakota, but that game was canceled. Hawaii’s opener was scheduled for the same day, on the road at Michigan. That game is still on so the Rainbow Warriors will be traveling like crazy. But the Hawaii program badly needs the money for these types of games.
Why Bet on California?
The Bears, from the Pac-12, were 8-5 last season and stomped Air Force in a bowl game. But Cal loses arguably the best quarterback in school history in Jared Goff, who became the No. 1 overall pick by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2016 NFL Draft. His replacement is Texas Tech graduate transfer Davis Webb, who had originally said he was going to transfer to Colorado but changed his mind because the Cal offense is nearly identical to Texas Tech’s.
Webb was great for TTU as a true freshman in 2013 when he was an honorable mention Freshman All-American and helped lead the Red Raiders to an 8-5 record, including an upset victory over No. 14 Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl. Webb was the game’s MVP after completing 28-of- 41 passes for 403 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Webb opened 2014 as the starter but was hurt late in the season and his replacement, Patrick Mahomes, shined in his place and started all of 2015 while Webb sat.
The Bears have a new offensive coordinator in Jake Spavital, who spent the past three years as Texas A&M’s offensive coordinator. Spavital installed a high-tempo offense that was widely recognized to be run at a significantly faster pace than the record-setting and already fast-paced offense employed by Cal coach Sonny Dykes and former offensive coordinator Tony Franklin the past three seasons.
Why Bet on Hawaii?
Hawaii was just 3-9 last season and has a new head coach in Nick Rolovich. Rolovich played (2000-01) and coached (2003-04 and 2008-11) at UH, where he still holds several passing records, including most touchdowns in a quarter and a game. He had been the offensive coordinator at Nevada for four seasons. UH will make the move from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense this year under new defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa.
Rolovich’s first big decision was naming his starting QB and he went with senior Ikaika Woolsey. No surprise as he has experience starting at the FBS level of the QBs on the roster with 37 games under hisbelt and well over double-digit starts. No other Hawaii QB has thrown an FBS pass.
This is Hawaii’s first-ever game outside the USA. It’s the seventh straight year that UH opens the season versus a Pac-12 squad; the Rainbow Warriors are 2-4 in the previous six openers. They upset visiting Colorado last year. UH has played at least one Pac-12 opponent each year since 2005 with a 6-11 record during that span.
Golden Bears are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
Golden Bears are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
Rainbow Warriors are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Pac-12.
Rainbow Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in August.
Over is 8-2 in Golden Bears last 10 neutral site games.
Over is 5-0 in Rainbow Warriors last 5 games overall.
My Free Pick
Hawaii has a lot more starters back than Cal does. No question the Bears win the game, but take the points. Go over the total.