If you’re looking for the best value in college football this season, look no further than just about 2,500 miles away from the U.S. mainland. In 2017, the Rainbow Warriors finished 1-10-1 ATS and 3-9 SU in a disaster of a season. 2018 has been a completely different story for Nick Rolovich’s squad as Hawaii is already 2-0 with two double-digit underdog wins over Colorado State and Navy and a combined 177 points scored in those two (88.5 points per game).
A complete 360 turnaround is not uncommon in college football — we saw it last season with a previously winless Fresno State finishing 10-4 with 11 wins ATS. Hawaii’s doing creative and fun things right now like throwing 34-yard touchdown passes on 4th and 2 and freshman QB Cole McDonald has completely rejuvenated Hawaii’s offense with 846 passing yards and 9 touchdowns already. They are going to be a fun offense to watch all season and it’s going to take awhile for the markets to adjust accordingly.
Rice hung in there with Houston for awhile last week, but don’t mistake them for anything but one of the worst teams in FBS as they nearly lost to FCS Prairie View A&M in their first game. Expect another monster point total from Hawaii in what should be a blowout.
Oklahoma -30 v. UCLA
If you have no idea what transpired in Week 1, then you may be inclined to take the heavy points with UCLA as they have a prestigious name, a new big-name head coaching hire in Chip Kelly, and transfer QB Wilton Speight from Michigan.
If you did happen to catch Week 1, then you know that would be a mistake. Oklahoma ransacked Florida Atlantic and hardly seemed to miss Baker Mayfield at all while UCLA lost as 14.5 point favorites at home to Cincinnati. Speight was also injured in that game and his status remains up in the air for the contest against Oklahoma. Regardless, this has 40+ point blowout written all over it and UCLA is going to be a great bet against all season. It’s going to take a little bit before Chip Kelly has this program going in the right direction.
North Carolina -16.5 @ East Carolina
Let’s lay some more points here with North Carolina at East Carolina. UNC is coming off a nice backdoor spread win at Cal as they covered the +7.5 in the waning minutes while ECU is coming off a brutal loss to FCS NC A&T as double-digit favorites.
This is more of a play against ECU then it is on UNC. ECU finished 2017 with a 3-8-1 record ATS which was also a season in which they lost their opening game to an FCS team. Expectations shouldn’t be any higher this season as they lost 2017 starter Gardner Minshew as a transfer to Washington State and their top four pass catching options. The lack of returning pass game production spells bad news for East Carolina this season. Sophomore starting QB Reid Herring needed 65 pass attempts to throw for just over 300 yards against NC A&T and threw two interceptions as well including a crippling pick-six in the Aggies’ red zone. Lay the points.
Florida -14 v. Kentucky
The Gators made the coaching switch from
Jim McElwain to former Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen and they will most certainly improve on their four wins in 2017. In what was a 3-8 season ATS in 2017, Florida took care of business against Kentucky last season with a 45-7 win at home.
Kentucky loses both starting QB Steve Johnson and top pass catcher Garrett Johnson from their 2017 team and is now featuring some combination of Terry Wilson and Gunner Hoak at quarterback who couldn’t even crack 130 passing yards in their win over Central Michigan. The sledding will be a whole lot tougher on the road in Gainesville against a Gators team that returns sophomore QB Feleipe Franks as well as 18 other starters. Expect a blowout.
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