Stanford @ Hawaii
Stanford -3 -102 over Hawaii

Posted at 1:05 PM EST. Odds subject to change.

Pinnacle -3 -102 BET365 -3 -110 Sportsinteraction -3 -110 888Sport -3 -110

Stanford -3 over Hawaii

11:00 PM EST. The Rainbow Warriors of Hawaii made a statement in Week 0 when they hit the mainland and gave Vanderbilt all it could handle in a 35-27 Commodores win. Sure losing stinks, but when one considers the oddsmakers predicted the Warriors would get blasted by double digits (Vandy was a 17½-point favorite), that prime time showing to kick off the season is going to resonate. Truth be told, Vandy never had a chance to cover that game and was fortunate to win. Meanwhile, it was the first look that the market had at teams and Hawaii impressed --- big time, in prime time, no less. That creates this zig-zag scenario, an angle you’ll hear us talking about frequently this year. There is a lot to like about Hawaii this week but it doesn’t stop with just last week’s victory. 

Hawaii returns 14 starters while Stanford returns six. Advantage Hawaii. In fact, Stanford ranks #131 inexperience, while Hawaii has an experienced team that ranks #44 in experience. The Rainbow Warriors got a lot better as the season went on last year under HC Chang and now they had a full offseason to learn the offense. That work was in clear view last week. Finally, Hawaii covered seven of its last eight games last year and already easily covered once this year. Overall, Hawaii has covered eight of nine and also covered its last four home games as a home underdog. What the f**k is there to like about Stanford spotting road points here? How about nothing. 

So why Stanford? If we were in the prediction business, the Warriors look like gold here but we’re not in that business. What we know for sure is that Stanford was a 10-point favorite in this game when the lines first came out in the summer and was as high as -7 less than two weeks ago. The market has seen, read and tasted everything you/we have and they have responded by absolutely hammering the home pooch here. If you bet Hawaii, you would be committing two cardinal sins among the many we talk about. One, you would be playing Hawaii at a bad number (could’ve gotten +7 to 10 at one point) and two, you are way too late to the Hawaii ticket cashing party. 

What we also know is that Hawaii will face some difficult  logistical hurdles here. The Warriors are accustomed to tough travel spots, but they don't get much tougher than this. That game against Vanderbilt went late into the night after a lengthy weather delay last week. Thus, they had to fly from Nashville to Hawaii on Sunday morning, and now have to play a Friday night game. Take players, coaches or anyone out of their normal routine and bad things can happen and usually do.

Bettors and oddsmakers were very impressed with what they saw from the Warriors against the Commodores, but we have to question if they have all gone too far. Classes in Palo Alto don't start until the end of September, so while almost everyone else around the country is hitting the classroom this week, the Cardinal only have football to focus on (and an empty campus also helps limit distractions). Former Sacramento State head coach Troy Taylor has inherited a bare cupboard in Stanford but he's had time to get this roster to buy into what he's building and he and his team have lots of film on Hawaii while Hawaii has zero film on Stanford. The Warriors are also forced to prepare on a very short week. While everything you read and hear point to an easy win for the host, it’s games exactly like this that almost always turn into bankroll killers for the wagering masses. Stanford is the only value play here.


Our Pick

Stanford -3 -102 (Risking 2.04 units - To Win: 2.00)