The #23 overall Washington Huskies (1-1) host the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (2-0) on the shores of Lake Washington on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM EST on Saturday, September 14th at Husky Stadium and the game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
Taking a look at the Week 3 college football odds, Washington opened as a 21-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has yet to move at all after early betting, as the Huskies are currently listed at -21. The total for the game is sitting at 59 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Washington vs Hawaii
Hawaii is off to a somewhat surprising 2-0 start to their season after beating Oregon State 31-28 in Week 2. The Rainbow Warriors trailed by a touchdown at halftime but rallied back over the final two quarters, outscoring the Beavers 10-0 in the second half. QB Cole McDonald was fantastic, going 30/52 for 421 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target was cleary WR JoJo Ward, who exploded for 10 catches, 189 yards, and was on the receiving end of all four of McDonald’s touchdown throws. RB Miles Reed led the way on the ground for a somewhat weak Hawaii ground attack, averaging just 3.8 yards per carry and gaining only 42 rushing yards. As a whole, the offense gained just under 500 total yards.
The Rainbow Warriors defense barely held on against Oregon State, although they did completely shut them out in the second half after giving up four touchdowns over the first two quarters of play. Hawaii really struggled to slow down the Beavers on the ground, as RB Jermar Jefferson rushed for 183 yards and a touchdown on a game-high 31 carries.
Washington dropped back to .500 on the season after a shocking 20-19 loss to UCLA at home in Week 2. The Huskies were up by a touchdown at the half but self-destructed in the third quarter, as the Bruins scored two touchdowns en route to a one-point victory. QB Jacob Eason didn’t play well at all, going just 18/30 for 162 yards and no touchdowns. He also threw a costly interception and gained only 10 yards on nine carries. RB Salvon Ahmed was the star of the game for Washington on offense, racking up 119 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. None of the receivers were able to gain more than 40 yards total, as the UCLA secondary was pretty much flawless all night.
The Huskies defense was pretty solid other than a rough 15-minute stretch against the run in the third quarter, as they held QB Chase Garbers to just 111 passing yards and no touchdowns. However, Washington did get burned several times on the ground, allowing Marcel Dancy and Christopher Brown Jr. to combine for 152 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Washington -21
As tempted as I initially was to take the points in this particular matchup, I think that the Washington defense sets up quite well against the Rainbow Warriors biggest strengths on offense. The Huskies biggest issue defensively against UCLA in Week 2 was their inability to stop the run, as the Bruins made them pay on the ground with two key touchdowns that ended up being the difference in the game. However, Hawaii doesn’t really boast that many weapons out of the backfield, as their main catalysts on offense are Cole McDonald and JoJo Ward. That should play into the Huskies favor a little bit, as they have a secondary that is much more capable than what the Rainbow Warriors faced against either Oregon State or Arizona. Washington should also be playing with a chip on their shoulder here in Week 3, as their stunning loss last weekend can not have sat well with anyone on the roster or coaching staff.
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As bad as Jacob Eason looked in Week 2, it is important to remember how well he played in the Huskies season opener against Eastern Washington. He looked very confident and passed for just under 350 yards and four touchdowns. Hawaii also isn’t a strong defensive team, as they allowed the Beavers to absolutely torch them on the ground. Even if the passing game for Washington gets off to another slow start, Salvon Ahmed is more than capable of taking over a game on his own. While it is hard to not at least tip your cap to Hawaii for their very strong start, I think an angry Washington team rolls here at home to make a big statement after a sluggish start – give me the Huskies.