The EasyPost Hawaii Bowl sees the Memphis Tigers travel across the Pacific Ocean in an actual road game. The Tigers had an uneven season and alternated between wins and losses in their final six games of the season. Meanwhile, the Rainbow Warriors won their last two games of the season and will hope to carry that momentum into this game. Hawaii last played in the Hawaii Bowl in 2019 when they earned a 38-34 win over BYU. Memphis has never played in the Hawaii Bowl, but the Tigers did win their bowl game last year over FAU after a brutal five-game bowl losing streak. Hawaii is hoping to extend its current bowl winning streak to three games.
Memphis Tigers Vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Betting Odds
Memphis Tigers Betting Odds
In this game, Memphis, a proper road team, will be relying on head coach Ryan Silverfield to lead it to its second straight bowl win. True freshman quarterback Seth Henigan has had an excellent season with 3,322 passing yards, the most in program history for a freshman, and 25 touchdowns to eight interceptions. Memphis ranks 17th in the FBS with 298.8 passing yards per game and 52nd with 30.3 points per game. However, the pressure of playing in a bowl game could prove problematic for an 18-year-old quarterback to overcome.
The bulk of Memphis’s scoring is done through the air as the team’s leading running back, Brandon Thomas, finished the regular season with just 669 rushing yards. Calvin Austin leads the team with 74 catches for 1,149 yards and eight touchdowns, a performance that earned him a spot on the All-American Conference First Team. Sean Dykes also made the First Team with his 48 catches for 657 yards and seven touchdowns.
Memphis allowed 418 yards per game and 29.2 points per game during the regular season, both of which ranked outside the top 90 defenses in the country. J.J. Russell is the most significant player to look out for as he led the team with 123 tackles and made the All-American Conference First Team. However, Memphis has undoubtedly not won games with its defense this year, and it’s a fairly average group.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Team Betting Odds
As with many others, this bowl game is going to be defined by the transfers on the Hawaii side. Chevan Cordeiro, Hawaii’s starting quarterback, has put his name in the transfer portal and will not take part in this game. Brayden Schrager will replace Cordeiro, and the two quarterbacks will face off for the second time this calendar year as they met in the Texas Class 5A playoffs in January. Schrager completed 60.2% of his 108 passes during the regular season, but he threw five interceptions to two touchdowns, and it’s tough to have a lot of confidence in him.
It doesn’t help Schrager that Dae Dae Hunter, the team’s leading rusher with 651 yards and three touchdowns. Hunter has also put his name in the transfer portal, but he will be easier to replace. Dedrick Parson finished the regular season with 117 carries for 618 yards and eight touchdowns, and he’s expected to pick up the slack in the rushing game. Hawaii will also look for creative ways to use Calvin Turner and Nick Mardner, who had over 875 receiving yards and combined for nine touchdowns.
Hawaii had two players to make the All-Mountain West First Team, linebacker Darius Muasau and defensive back Khoury Bethley, Sr. Muasau led the team with 108 tackles, 14 for a loss, and 7.5 sacks. Bethley was tied for second in the country with five interceptions, one of which he returned for an interception and six pass defenses. However, Hawaii allowed 31.4 points per game, ranking 98th out of 130 FBS teams.
Memphis Tigers vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Picks & Prediction
- Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite
- Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 bowl games
- Rainbow Warrirors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as an underdog
- Rainbow Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
Memphis starting a true freshman quarterback would be a disadvantage in a postseason game against some teams, but Hawaii is also starting a freshman quarterback, just one who hasn’t been the starter all year. The Tigers have an explosive passing offense led by Henigan, and Hawaii’s defense hasn’t slowed down many teams this year. It’s tempting to lay the points with Memphis in this matchup, but the fact that Hawaii is playing at home and the Tigers’ poor ATS record as a favorite is cause for concern. You can bet on the under on Hawaii’s team total if you want some action in this game, as I think it will be tough for the Rainbow Warriors to score without their starting quarterback and running back.
My Pick: Memphis wins 30-20, Memphis covers, under 55.5 points