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Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders – Hawaii Bowl Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 24, 2016

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders – Hawaii Bowl Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 24, 2016

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Betting Preview

Where: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI

When: Saturday, December 24, 2016, 1:00 PM ET

Line: Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders – view all NCAA Football odds and lines

TV Broadcast: ESPN

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Betting on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (TBA)

Despite finishing the season with a losing record, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are coming off one of their better campaigns of recent memory nonetheless to earn them their first postseason appearance since 2010.

The Rainbow Warriors won six games this season after having a total of seven victories in the two prior seasons, and are entering Saturday’s clash with a two-game win streak that was capped off with a stunning 46-40 victory over UMass. Sophomore quarterback Dru Brown saved his best game of the year for last, as he threw for over 300 yards and had five passing touchdowns in that regular-season finale.

However, Brown’s been erratic throughout the whole year, and him having another explosive outing this week is far from happening. The five TDs he put up against UMass already accounts for a third of his passing-TD total for the season, and he also has seven interceptions to his (dis)credit as well.

Not helping Hawaii’s cause is its defense, or utter lack of it. The Rainbow Warriors have allowed opposing QBs to complete 63 percent of their passes and have a total of just nine takeaways all season, with five of them coming from two of their earlier victories this season against pathetic competition. They’ve also allowed an average of 240 rushing yards per game along with 30 rushing touchdowns, and that doesn’t bode well with Middle Tennessee’s prolific running game on the horizon.

To top it all off, the team hasn’t been friendly to us bettors of late. They might’ve gone 3-4 in their last seven contests, but they also went just 1-6 against the spread during that span. Having home-field advantage in charming Honolulu hasn’t done the Rainbow Warriors any good either, as they’ve lost three-consecutive bowl games – including the last couple of Hawaii Bowls – by a combined score of 162-66.

Betting on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (TBA)

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders punched their ticket to a second-straight bowl game with an emphatic 77-56 victory over FAU in their last regular-season contest. As evident by that high-scoring game, the Blue Raiders are indeed hard to stop on offense as they’ve averaged nearly 40 points per game this season.

Unfortunately, head coach Brent Stockstill is facing a tough dilemma regarding his team’s starting quarterback position. His own son, Brent, could return under center this Saturday, but issues surrounding the sophomore’s collarbone injury still lingers. The younger Stockstill’s backup, John Urzua, could take over again, but he too got hurt in the season finale.

Nevertheless, Middle Tennessee is deep in talent on offense, and there’s no bigger threat to Hawaii this week than stud running back I’Ttavius Mathers. This season, Mathers became just the seventh player in FBS history to rack up over 1,500 rushing yards and over 500 receiving yards. He also has 19 total touchdowns this year, with five rushing TDs coming from his massive 311-rushing yard performance against FAU.

Not only that, but wide receiver Richie James remained a beast this entire season despite the team’s inconsistency at quarterback. James was three catches shy of having back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons on the way to finishing with 1,463 receiving yards and 11 scores, and he also added 300 more yards and four more TDs on the ground.

With defense not being a strong point, the Blue Raiders are likely in for a shootout against the Rainbow Warriors this week. But given the fact that the total has gone over in six of their last seven games and that Hawaii has been the victim of blowout losses in its recent bowl games, you should still be inclined to side with MTSU to prevail with a victory in another high-scoring affair.

Writer’s Prediction

The Blue Raiders win their first bowl game in four tries, 42-31.

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Written by Mark

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