Happy Holidays, Constituents. Let’s unwrap this evening’s gift from the WiseGuys to you all – surprise, it’s a mf’in lock.
We’ve been going head to head against each other and publishing the breakdown of our sources’ – aka the WiseGuys – picks for each bowl game thus far along with our own personal plays. We’re not slowing down and putting our heads down as the matchups of the bowls getting better as the #BowlSzn rolls on down the line.
Let’s check in on the standings and see where everyone stands… (spoiler, I fuckin suck right now.)
WiseGuys (20+ sources aggregated into one landing spot, for those new to the party)
5 Ws, 4 Ls
Hedgerrin James (fearless leader)
7 Ws, 2 Ls
Guy aka Daddy Fatsacks (aka Guy)
4 Ws, 5 Ls
Faderian Peterson (aka your boy)
4 Ws, 5 Ls
So that’s where we’re at – Hedge has faded the WiseGuys in the right spots and taken a pretty commanding lead. None of the WiseGuys’ picks thus far have been consensus no-conflict picks but it’s the holiday season so we’re going fully transparent with where they stand for every game. We haven’t given out a sponsored pick yet – tonight is not the night but it was close – but we’ve got a handful of spots ahead that will get that stamp of approval.
Alright, enough fodder and padding the word count, let’s get down to Christmas Eve bidness.
BYU vs Hawaii
Opening Line: BYU -2
Current Line: BYU -2.5
WiseGuys breakdown: 9 WiseGuys on the Cougars, 4 on the Warriors
Hedgerrin’s pick: BYU
Guy’s pick: BYU
Faderian’s pick: BYU
The home team advantage is tough to overlook – the travel, no distractions, 6-2 at home this year, yada yada yada. Hawaii obviously has the initial upper hand here over BYU, but Steward Mandel of the Athletic points out that they are 4-4 in 8 games in the Hawaii Bowl itself. Its not a sure fire home field advantage in postseason ball.
These teams are not quite created equally though and that’s why we’re seeing BYU laying points on their opponent’s home turf; Pro Football Focus has BYU’s adjusted offense ranked 23rd in the country and their defense is a pedestrian 67th. Conversely, Hawaii checks in at 68th and 108th respectively.
Taking a quick look at their records against common opponents negates the disparaging differences in PFF’s rankings a bit – both teams got absolutely smoked by Washington but then BYU took down a Boise State team that hung 90 points on the Warriors in two matchups, while Hawaii knocked off a competitive San Diego State team that stifled BYU and held them to 3 points.
Football Outsiders rankings align with PFF’s as well – and show clearly that the Hawaii defense is the biggest liability in this game and BYU has executed game plans this season to stop passing attacks stronger than that of the Warriors.
Hawaii has been strong extended drives (18th nationally in 3rd down conversions,) so BYU’s defense will have to find ways to get their unit off of the field and get the ball back in Zach Wilson’s hands. He accounted for 4 total touchdowns against Hawaii in a meeting in 2018 as a freshman. Additionally, the Cougars are more opportunistic than the Warriors as well, their turnover margin checks in at 37th in the nation courtesy of a strong secondary that recorded 1.25 interceptions per game this season.
The Cougars were competitive in every game except for the aforementioned Washington beat down and they played (and beat more) quality opponents throughout the year. If the early and late season Cougars show up and leave their midseason form back in Mormon country, then we should see BYU cover the 2.5 and get to enjoy Christmas just a tad early with some great scenery.
Follow our lead and lay the points and grab this within the field goal at -2.5.