On Saturday (10/14/23), San Diego State faces Hawaii in a Mountain West matchup. In this article, find the latest betting odds for this matchup and a full preview of the game. In addition, find our best bet which is Hawaii +6.
San Diego State Vs. Hawaii Prediction
Both of these Mountain West teams are coming off their bye week, and San Diego State is looking to right the ship. After entering the year as one of the favorites in their conference, they’ve lost four straight games, including a 49-10 blowout loss to Air Force. This is now their fourth straight road game, making this a brutal spot.
For years, Hawaii has been an easy win for San Diego State – the Aztecs have won nine of their last 11 games in this series. However, all but one of the last five meetings have been decided by seven or fewer points. I’m expecting another tight game here against a Hawaii team that seems to be on the rise.
Second-year head coach Timmy Chang is implementing his Run and Shoot offense, and quarterback Brayden Schager looks comfortable – his 14 passing touchdowns are tied for the 10th-most in the FBS. The Hawaii offense hasn’t been able to run the ball at a high level, but that might be about to change.
San Diego State defensive coordinator Kurt Mannix is highly respected, but this defense had a ton of changeover this offseason, and it has struggled. The Aztecs rank 128th in overall success rate allowed, and they rank 118th in tackling per PFF. That’s problematic against a Hawaii offense ranked 18th in explosiveness.
The Aztecs are especially terrible against the run, ranking 131st in rushing success rate allowed. Hawaii’s rushing offense has been largely ineffective, but running back Tylan Hines could have a breakout game here. Tough matchups and an injury have led to a quiet start, but Hines is an electric runner who averaged 7.7 YPC last season.
Chang has instilled belief in this Hawaii team and they’ll play like a team with nothing to lose here. Meanwhile, San Diego State needs four wins in their next six games to reach bowl eligibility and Brady Hoke’s seat is heating up. I expect them to play tight in this game. I like Hawaii catching six points as a home dog here.
San Diego State Vs. Hawaii Prediction: Hawaii +6
San Diego State Vs. Hawaii Best Odds
San Diego State is currently a six-point road favorite in this game with an over/under of 52 points. Look for any line movement prior to the game as 6 is a relatively key football number, although not as important as 3 or 7.
San Diego State Vs. Hawaii Key Matchups
These Mountain West teams have some fascinating players to watch, and I’ll break them down here. Let’s take a look at some of the key matchups in this game.
Jalen Mayden Vs. Hawaii’s Pass Defense
I was excited about Jalen Mayden’s prospects with first year offensive coordinator Ryan Lindley, but it hasn’t totally clicked, especially as a passer – Mayden is averaging 1.9 yards fewer per attempt than last year. The offense has embraced Mayden’s versatility as the former safety is a tremendous runner – he has 362 yards through six games.
If the Aztecs want to get Mayden going through the air, this is a great spot to do it. Hawaii ranks 103rd in passing EPA/play allowed with the 106th-ranked coverage unit per PFF. Look for Mayden to target Brionne Penny, who has 15 catches for 196 yards, and Baylin Brooks, who has 12 catches for 206 yards and a score.
Steven McBride and Pofele Ashlock Vs. San Diego State’s Cornerbacks
In Hawaii’s Run and Shoot offense, their top two wide receivers are crucial to success. Pofele Ashlock leads the team with 39 catches for 474 yards while Steven McBride is the big touchdown scorer with six on the season. In their loss to UNLV before the bye, McBride had a monstrous six catches for 180 yards and a score.
San Diego State ranks 95th in PFF coverage, and might not have the bodies to cover these two outstanding receivers. Cornerback Noah Tumblin has been a bright spot for that unit, though, allowing just a 58.6% catch rate and ranking fifth in among FBS corners in PFF coverage grades.