Despite winning two more games than their postseason counterparts, the Fresno State Bulldogs are slight Hawaii Bowl odds underdogs to beat the Houston Cougars when the two teams square off at Aloha Stadium on December 24th. Fresno State will look to reach the double-digit win mark by pulling off the upset in their season-ending bowl game against Houston. Now, let’s find out if the Bulldogs can cover the NCAAF spread as surprising road dogs against the Cougars.
Cougars vs. Bulldogs 2017 Hawaii Bowl Odds & Expert Pick
— #HTownTakeover (@UHCougarFB) 20 de diciembre de 2017
- When: Sunday, December 24, 2017, 8:30 PM ET
- Where: Aloha Stadium
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: 88.7 FM (Houston) / 940 AM (Fresno State)
- Live Stream: Watch ESPN
- Hawaii Bowl Odds: Houston -2.5 (Over/Under at 49)
- Clear: 22°C/72°F
- Humidity: 69%
- Precipitation: 4%
- Cloud Cover: 13%
- Wind: 8 mph NNE
- Stadium Type: Open
- All: Houston Cougars 7-4 / Fresno State Bulldogs 9-4
- Home: Houston Cougars 4-2 / Fresno State Bulldogs 5-1
- Away: Houston Cougars 3-2 / Fresno State Bulldogs 4-3
- ATS: Houston Cougars 6-5 / Fresno State Bulldogs 10-2-1
- Over/Under: Houston Cougars 2-9 / Fresno State Bulldogs 3-10
Why consider the Cougars Hawaii Bowl Odds?
Why bet on the Cougars? Because they got on a nice roll to finish off their regular season. Houston won three of their last four games to finish with seven wins and comes into their bowl game matchup off a 24-14 win over Navy as a 6.5-point favorite back on November 24.
Quarterback D’Eriq King passed for one touchdown and ran for two more in the win.
“The defense played great all day,” King said. “We got momentum off the defense. We saw those guys make plays, and we wanted to help them by making plays ourselves.”
Houston’s defense shut Navy out in the second half and held the Midshipmen to 79 yards and six first downs.
“It was a tackle or dive there to get what you can get,” said defensive tackle Ed Oliver who finished with a career-high 14 tackles and 3.5 tackles for a loss, said. “We stopped the dive. We were really locked in on our assignments, and we shut it down.”
The Cougars average a solid 28.4 points per game this season (67th) and allow 23.0 points per contest defensively (39th). Quarterback Kyle Postma completed 66.5 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,125 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions while splitting time with fellow quarterbacks D’Eriq King who completed 69.8 percent of his passes while throwing for 991 yards with six touchdowns and just one interception.
Quarterback Kyle Allen completed a blistering 76.2 percent of his passes while throwing for four touchdowns and four interceptions. Running back Duke Catalon rushed for a team-high 621 yards and eight scores.
Oliver became the first sophomore to win the Outland Trophy after finishing the season with 69 tackles, 14½ tackles for loss, 5½ sacks, 7 quarterback hurries and 2 forced fumbles. He fought through a knee injury for nearly a month and faced double- and triple-team blocking for much of the season.
- Average Score For: 28.36
- Total Yards: 436.09
- Rush Yards: 175.45
- Passing Yards: 260.64
- Average Score Against: 23.00
- Total Yards: 417.54
- Rush Yards: 149.45
- Passing Yards: 268.09
Why consider the Bulldogs Hawaii Bowl Odds?
Why bet on the Bulldogs in this contest? Because they improved from 1-11 to 9-4 in head coach Jeff Tedford’s first season and the sky is the limit for this team.
Fresno State had their four-game winning streak snapped in their heartbreaking 17-14 loss Mountain West championship game loss against No. 25 Boise State on Dec. 2 one week after beating the Broncos 28-17.
“To be in this position, even though we fell short tonight, this group has accomplished quite a bit,” Tedford said. “We have a lot to be proud of. Nobody believed in us coming off last season.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board, but we’ll be back.”
The Bulldogs average Fresno State is averaging 26.7 points per game (78th) while limiting the opposition to just 17.2 points per contest to rank a stellar ninth nationally in points allowed. Quarterback Marcus McMaryion completed 61.1 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,384 yards with 14 TD passes and just four interceptions while running back Jordan Mills rushed for a team-high 604 yards and seven scores. As I wrote at the beginning of this article, I see absolutely no reason why the Houston Cougars are favored in this contest.
- Average Score For: 26.69
- Total Yards: 386.84
- Rush Yards: 156.92
- Passing Yards: 229.92
- Average Score Against: 17.23
- Total Yards: 320.66
- Rush Yards: 118.28
- Passing Yards: 202.38
Latest Hawaii Bowl Betting Trends
- Cougars are 17-8 SU in their last 25 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Houston’s last 12 games
- Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games
- Bulldogs are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Fresno State’s last 5 games
Expert Analysis and Prediction
I know Houston has gone a robust 12-4 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 neutral site game, but the Cougars are also 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
On the flip side of the coin, Fresno State is a near-perfect 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win and I believe their superior defense will help them get the outright win to cover the chalk!
Pick: Fresno State Bulldogs +2.5