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Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. Houston Cougars Betting Picks

December 23, 2020

Date:Thursday, December 24th
Time:3:30 PM ET
Venue:Toyota Stadium
Spread:Houston -8

The 4-4 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will meet up with the 3-4 Houston Cougars on Thursday in the New Mexico Bowl at 3:30 PM ET in the Toyota Stadium. You can tune into the matchup on ESPN. The Cougars come in as 10-point home favorites and we’re expecting plenty of points with a 59 over/under. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of our CFB Picks and Predictions as we will be breaking down every single bowl game.


  • Rainbow Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in December.
  • Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
  • Under is 4-0 in Rainbow Warriors last 4 games following a straight up win.
  • Under is 4-1 in Cougars last 5 neutral site games as a favorite.

When The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Have The Ball

It’s been an up and down season for the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, who find themselves 4-4 entering the New Mexico Bowl. It’s been a mixed bag of results, losing to some bad teaming and beating a couple of good ones. They’re coming off a 38-21 win over UNLV in a game they looked excellent on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, it starts and ends with QB Chevan Cordeiro. He leads the team with 450 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on top of the 1,947 yards and 11 scores. He has turned it over a combined eight times, so he must hold onto the ball against a fierce Houston D. If Cordeiro wakes up feeling good, this Hawaii offense can look lethal.

Calvin Turner leads a superb receiving group and he’s joined by Jared Smart and Rico Bussey. Three combine for nearly 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns. Turner is a potential NFL WR and can be a difference-maker in any game. Cordeiro has the weapons to have a monster game against any defense. 

When The Houston Cougars Have The Ball

Things have been ugly this season for Houston and they walk into this ballgame at 3-4. It’s tough to have any consistent take on how a below .500 team will approach this game, as it’s clear they are looking towards the future. Still, Clayton Tune is a solid signal-caller and he’s thrown it for 1,832 yards and 13 touchdowns on top of 269 rushing yards. Kyle Porter will lead the backfield and Mulbah Car will get involved as well.

Keith Corbin and Nathaniel Dell have taken over a receiving corps that Marquez Stevenson held down for five games before getting knocked out for the season with an injury. Dell is more of a RZ threat while Corbin is used more between the 20s. Houston must get out to an early lead if they’re want to win this ballgame. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Hawaii +10

Hawaii leans heavily on Chevan Cordeiro and that hasn’t looked very good in a few games this season. On the other hand, he can keep the Rainbow Warriors in this game by himself if he’s on his A-game. I like the Hawaii offensive line to step up in this game and give the Saab’s QB some time. It’s not like this Houston team is lethal anyway, and the defense has built up more of a facade than a truly solid D. Give me Hawaii to keep this one close and I wouldn’t be shocked if they won it outright. 

Total Prediction

The Pick: Under 59.5
Final Score Prediction: Houston 31, Hawaii 23

Neither offense is efficient and I expect large gaps of this game to go without much scoring. Both teams struggle to put it in the end zone while in the RZ and often settle for FG’s. This is a high number and I don’t have any interest on the over. Give me the under, though I would rather bet Hawaii against the spread straight up. 

Jake Williams
Jake Williams is a sports gambling expert. He's been writing in the sports betting and DFS industry for over a decade. He specializes in MLB and NBA, along with College Basketball and College Football.