Memphis @


Fri, Dec 24
5:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 229
Odds: Hawaii PK, Total:

Game Analysis

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Note: This game was Canceled, which is unfortunate given that I had 3 points of line value on my Under Best Bet

2-Star Best Bet – **Under (58.5) – Memphis (-7.5)  29   HAWAII  21

Hawaii will be without starting quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and top running back Dae Dae Hunter (both transferred) while Memphis will be without All-AAC WR Calvin Austin III, who will forego this game to prepare for the NFL draft. Losing Austin certainly hurts the Tigers (worth about 2 points) but the absence of Cordeiro and Hunter more negatively affects the Hawaii offense.

Cordeiro missed 3 full games earlier this season and backup quarterback Brayden Schager was horrible in his place. Shager averaged just 4.6 yards on 117 pass plays this season despite facing teams that would allow 7.3 yppp to an average quarterback, and Hunter led the Rainbow Warriors in rushing while averaging 6.4 ypr (backup Dedrick Person averages 5.3 ypr). Cordeiro was just 0.1 yppp worse than average, so Schager is a significant downgrade and the major reason for playing the under in this game. Memphis rates as average defending the run and 0.1 yppp worse than average defending the pass, which is more than good enough to limit Hawaii’s depleted offense.

The market hasn’t adjusted as much as it should for Cordeiro being out – perhaps because Hawaii went 2-1 straight up and averaged 30.7 points in Schager’s three starts. However, that had nothing to do with Schager, as the rushing attack accounted for an average of 248 yards at 6.7 yprp in those 3 games, one of which was against the nation’s worst defensive team New Mexico State (whom Hawaii faced twice this season). Hunter, who is no longer with the team, averaged 10.4 ypr in those games, and the Hawaii rushing attack rates at 0.3 yprp worse than average without Hunter and Cordeio, who had 547 yards on 87 runs (Schager just 32 rushing yards in his 3 full games). Hawaii is a bad offensive team heading into this game.

Memphis should move the ball at a pretty good rate, even without Austin, who averaged an impressive 9.3 yards on 124 targets this season despite having the full attention of every defense that the Tigers faced. The other two starting receivers combined for a modest 7.8 yards per target and Hawaii can decide to double-team one of them or put an extra man at the line of scrimmage to defend the run. The Memphis rush attack has been 0.5 yards per rushing play worse than average (5.0 yprp against teams that would allow 5.5 yprp to an average team), but it has been 1.2 yprp worse than average without leading rusher Brandon Thomas the last 5 games, as Thomas’ 5.8 yprp is far better than the 4.1 ypr average of the other running backs. The Tigers’ pass attack rates at just 0.2 yppp better than average without Austin and with Seth Henigan at quarterback (he missed the UCF game and the backup averaged only 3.3 yppp). Henigan has been 0.7 yppp better than average (7.7 yppp against teams that would allow 7.0 yppp to an average QB) but projects to be 0.5 yppp worse than normal without his star receiver (which was a conservative estimate of Austin’s value).

Hawaii’s defense is 0.4 yppl worse than average and the double-digit winds, which are normal this time of year in Honolulu, should help the Warriors limit the Tigers to around 5.8 yppl.

I do expect these teams to run 151 plays but 17 mph winds with a chance of rain is in the forecast, which will make it tougher to pass (hurting Memphis more than Hawaii). The combined yards per play should be around 5.0 yppl, which is 0.7 yppl worse than the national average and the weather adjusted predicted total is just 49.9 points. The Under is a 2-Star Best Bet at 58 points or more and a 1-Star play down to 56 points.

Minor bowl game favorites of 7 points or more tend to letdown in bowl games, but that’s not the case for teams that had to win to qualify for a bowl game (i.e. 6-6 or 6-5 teams off a win), as those teams tend to be more excited about playing in a bowl game. The math favors Memphis by 8.3 points.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Memphis
  • Hawaii


  • Run Plays 31.1 37.8
  • Run Yards 154.3 186.9
  • YPRP 5.0 4.9


  • Pass Comp 22.3 23.1
  • Pass Att 36.9 36.3
  • Comp % 60.5% 63.5%
  • Pass Yards 295.6 253.4
  • Sacks 2.4 2.3
  • Sack Yards 13.7 15.7
  • Sack % 6.2% 5.8%
  • Pass Plays 39.3 38.6
  • Net Pass Yards 281.9 237.8
  • YPPP 7.2 6.2


  • Total Plays 70.4 76.4
  • Total Yards 436.2 424.7
  • YPPL 6.2 5.6


  • Int 0.9 0.8
  • Int % 2.5% 2.1%
  • Fumbles 0.7 0.5
  • Turnovers 1.6 1.3
  • Points 30.1 29.3
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