The Mountain West Conference kicks off its 2018 season with the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors visiting the Colorado State Rams on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. When these teams met last September in Aloha Stadium, the Rams battered the Warriors' defense repeatedly, racking up a whopping 610 yards and 51 points en route to a 51-21 romp. The Rams opened as 14-point home favorites, but are now laying 17. The Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 58.5, the same as where it opened. Before you make your Hawaii vs. Colorado State picks, you need to see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The computer has generated a stunning $4,210 profit for $100 bettors over the past three years and closed the bowl season on a perfect 7-0 run. The model called Hawaii's 2017 season-opener against UMass too, confidently backing the Warriors as two-point road underdogs. The result: Hawaii won outright 38-35. Anyone who followed the model won with ease.
Now, the model has simulated Hawaii vs. Colorado State 10,000 times to produce strong college football picks against the spread and on the over-under. We can tell you it's leaning heavily toward the over, saying it hits in 61 percent of simulations, but its bold point-spread pick, which hits well over 50 percent of the time, can be found only at SportsLine.
The model knows Hawaii finished the 2017 season 3-9 and returns nine starters -- none at the skill positions. The squads met early last season with the Rams (-6.5) cruising to a 51-21 road victory, easily covering the spread.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Cole McDonald will lead the Warriors' offense. He has thrown only nine career passes, but one of them was for a touchdown in a 37-26 win over San Jose State.
The computer also knows Hawaii's biggest concern will be on defense. Last season, Hawaii yielded at least 30 points in eight games. If the Warriors can get stronger pressure from their front seven, they should be able to force much-needed three-and-outs to keep the D fresh.
Colorado State got some good news when head coach Mike Bobo said he'll likely be leading the team from the coaches' booth on Saturday after a 10-day hospital stay for numbness in his feet. The 44-year-old coach, now in his fourth year in Fort Collins, has had his share of health woes. In addition to being treated for peripheral neuropathy, he underwent knee-replacement surgery last spring.
With quarterback Nick Stevens in Denver Broncos camp after a stellar collegiate career in which he was the school's all-time touchdown leader, Washington starter K.J. Carta-Samuels will be handling snaps on game day. Senior running back Izzy Matthews is expected to get the majority of carries, but backups Rashaad Boddie and Marvin Kinsey are questionable.
IWhile the running back position could be a trouble spot for the Rams, there's no such problem at receiver. Sophomore stud Warren Jackson is a handful to cover. At 6-foot-6 with plenty of speed and reliable hands, he presents matchup problems for secondaries. Tennessee transfer Preston Williams, who had been suspended following an assault charge, is the team's deep threat. In limited 2015 action, he notched more than 22 yards per reception.
So which side of the Hawaii vs. Colorado State spread hits in over 50 percent of simulation? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over, all from the proven computer model that has returned over $4,000 for $100 bettors.