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Posted at 10:15 AM EST.
5:00 PM EST. After the theatrics displayed in prime time last Sunday night against Texas A&M, it is safe to infer that the Bruins will attract a lot of attention this week. Many superlatives were used to describe what took place in Pasadena last Sunday night. Some have called it historic. Some have called it incredulous. Many have proclaimed that the triumphant comeback was something that can define UCLA’s season and perhaps get them back to relevance in the Pac-12. We would be remiss to highlight the fact that the Bruins finished just 4-8 in 2016. Nevertheless, such rhetoric is bound to stir up a whole lot of excitement to book the Powder Blue and Gold, but we insist that backers hold their horses and not overreact. First and foremost, the UCLA comeback against the Aggies was as much the work of Kevin Sumlin and company as it was the Bruins themselves. Let us not forget here that the Bruins closed as nearly a touchdown favorite and were losing 41-10 in a game they were supposed to win in impressive fashion. The fact remains, UCLA did not nose to the front until the last minute of the contest when a beleaguered and dismayed Texas A&M fell for a fake spike even though the clock was stopped. This event encapsulates everything that went wrong on Sunday night for the Aggies in one foul swoop.
Hawaii comes into this affair at 2-0. Overall, the Rainbow Warriors have won their last five dating back to 2016. This is a football team that battled its way to bowl eligibility, overcame a 14-point deficit in its bowl game to defeat Middle Tennessee State, and traveled 5,000 miles to overcome Massachusetts when they trailed into the fourth quarter. In their last three fixtures, the Alohas are 2-0-1 against the spread. The one push came most recently when Hawaii defeated Western Carolina at home as a 23-point favorite, last week. It is worth mentioning that in last week’s game, the Rainbow Warriors actually sat some of their best players to preserve them for their meeting with UCLA. Low and behold, the Bruins enter off a shorter week of rest and are undoubtedly exhausted both physically and emotionally from the spectacle against A&M. By contrast, the Warriors are well-rested and are likely more prepared for this contest. For Hawaii, this is a massive opportunity that they’ll treat like it’s for a championship while the Bruins will treat is as a glorified practice and show up in body only. While the Rainbow Warriors may not pull off the upset here, they have enough firepower on their offense to come in under the number against what has proven to be a very amiable Bruins defense. Don’t be shocked by any means if Hawaii makes this one interesting and UCLA has to struggle to get by them. Hawaii’s offense is good enough to come in through the back door too so if you bet the Bruins here, they had better up by 30 or more, which is a tall task after last week’s monumental victory.
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#153 Hawaii +24 -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)