Last Updated Jan 16, 2023, 10:05 AM

Hawaii Bowl Betting 2023 Odds, Predictions, Preview

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 25-23 in the 2022 Hawaii Bowl.

Check out last year's coverage here below and tune back in with us soon for the 2023 Hawaii Bowl Odds, Picks and Predictions.

Traditionally, the last game before Christmas is the Hawaii Bowl. However, the last two iterations of the Hawaii Bowl were canceled due to COVID. That won’t be the case this year though as both the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders and San Diego State Aztecs are healthy and ready to play on Christmas Eve.

This year’s EasyPost Hawaii Bowl will be played on Saturday, December 24, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN from Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Prediction

The San Diego State Aztecs are hoping to win their third straight bowl game. They are currently a touchdown favorite over the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders by the football betting odds, as MTSU is 3-6 all-time in bowl season.

The Blue Raiders lost by 17 points to Hawaii six years ago in their only other trip to the Hawaii Bowl, and the early action has gone against them here. However, at this point, the Blue Raiders are worth backing as this line opened at San Diego State -3.5 and has risen even though MTSU is supposed to have its full team ready for this game.

Score Prediction: San Diego State 24, Middle Tennessee 21
Best Bet: Middle Tennessee +6.5 (-110)

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Odds

Hawaii Bowl Betting Resources

  • Date: Saturday, December 24, 2022
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Clarence T. C. Ching Athletics Complex
  • Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Expert Picks

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Betting Analysis

Chase Cunningham put together a solid season under center for Middle Tennessee State. The senior was a little more mistake prone than he was last year, but he completed 67.4% of his passes for 2,920 yards (7.0 YPA) with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Cunningham had some success as a short yardage runner and found the end zone six times with his legs, but he was at his best in the pocket.

MTSU’s top receiver was Jaylin Lane who caught 59 passes for 829 yards and four touchdowns. Izaiah Gathings (9.2 YPR) and Yusuf Ali (7.5 YPR) were the next two leading receivers on the team, but they were primarily used for underneath routes. Sophomore Frank Peasant was the team’s leading rusher and totaled 1,023 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns on 191 touches.

The Blue Raiders were ranked 93rd in Defensive SP+. Defensive end Jordan Ferguson was a First Team All-CUSA talent that led MTSU with 8.5 sacks, and he is the star of the unit. They have been great at stopping the run, allowing 3.6 YPC and 127.5 YPG on the ground, but they have been abysmal in pass defense.

Even though Teldrick Ross and Decorian Patterson combined to break up 27 passes, the Blue Raiders allowed 304.3 YPG through the air, ranking dead last in the country. Patterson can force turnovers though and ended the season with six interceptions.

Middle Tennessee and QB Chase Cunningham bring a three-game win streak into the Hawaii Bowl. (Getty)

San Diego State Aztecs Betting Analysis

This program has been consistently challenged on offense. However, the defense and special teams have been good enough to lead the Aztecs to a considerable amount of success over the last decade. San Diego State ranks 121st in Offensive SP+, 34th in Defensive SP+, and 15th in Special Teams SP+ coming into this game.

The passing game was atrocious all year as five different quarterbacks threw at least seven passes for the Aztecs. Transfer Braxton Burmeister began the season as the starter but relinquished the job after completing just 50% of his passes for a paltry 3.7 YPA.

Dual-threat QB Jalen Mayden proved to be the eventual answer, completing 62.9% of his passes for 8.9 YPA with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Mayden averaged almost 7.0 YPC on the ground too when you take out sack yardage, giving this ground game a needed boost.

Usually, San Diego State has a very good ground game that can overcome a problematic passing attack. However, that wasn’t the case this year. The Aztecs averaged just 3.6 YPC and Jordan Byrd was their leading rusher with 389 yards and three touchdowns. Jaylon Armstead broke a few big runs, but he averaged just 1.0 YPC in his last outing against New Mexico.

San Diego State is allowing just 5.0 yards per play. The Aztecs have a lot of talent on defense, led by three-time First Team All-MWC linebacker Caden McDonald.

Defensive lineman Jonah Tavai was named First Team All-MWC after leading SDSU with 9.5 sacks, and safety Patrick McMorris made the First Team All-MWC list for the second time. Additionally, punter/kicker Jack Browning was great and was named MWC Special Teams Player of the Year.

Hawaii Bowl History

The Hawai'i Bowl bowl began in 2002 and is played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawai'i. The University of Hawai'i is granted an automatic bid to this bowl as long as they are bowl eligible; if not, another Mountain West Conference school will take Hawai'i's place. 

The opponent comes from either the Mountain West Conference (MWC), American Athletic Conference (AAC), or Conference USA. This bowl was formerly named the ConAgra Foods Hawai'i Bowl and the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl prior to dropping the sponsorship in 2014. 

Underdogs own a 12-5 ATS record in this game, including six double-digit 'dogs winning outright after Hawai'i won 52-35 over Middle Tennessee in 2016. Hawai'i restored honor for the Mountain West Conference, as they had taken it on the chin in three of the previous four outings. Hawai'i has made the most appearances in this bowl with nine, posting a 5-4 record.

In 2018, Hawai'i got knocked around in their own building against the tremendous defensive of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs from Conference USA. The Bulldogs racked up nine sacks, a bowl record, en route to a 17-point victory to comfortable cover a one-point number. The 'under' (61) was never threatened, ending a two-game over streak in this game. 

Hawai'i won a back-and-forth affair with BYU in the 2019 installment with a 38-34 triumph. Although the Rainbow Warriors scored only one touchdown in the second half, they managed to hit the third 'over' in the last four Hawai'i Bowls.

The 2020 installment of this game was wiped out due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The game was expected to resume Dec. 24, 2021, pitting Memphis of the AAC against Hawai'i. However, the Warriors pulled out of the game less than 24 hours prior to kickoff citing COVID issues within the program, while several players had left the program via the transfer portal, leaving the school unable to field a team.

YearMatchupSpread, TotalsATS Result
2022Middle Tennessee 25 San Diego State 23SDSU -7, 47Underdog, Over
2021Memphis vs. Hawai'i, Cancelled
2019Hawai'i 38 BYU 34BYU -2.5, 65Underdog, Over
2018Louisiana Tech 31 Hawai'i 14Louisiana Tech -1, 61.5Favorite, Under
2017Fresno State 33 Houston 27Houston -3, 52Underdog, Over
2016Hawai'i 52 Middle Tennessee 35Middle Tennessee -7.5, 70Underdog, Over
2015San Diego State 42 Cincinnati 7San Diego State -2.5, 56.5Favorite, Under
2014Rice 30 Fresno State 6Pick-em, 58Under
2013Oregon State 38 Boise State 28Oregon State -4, 66.5Favorite, Under
2012SMU 43 Fresno State 10Fresno State -13, 63Underdog, Under
2011Southern Miss 24 Nevada 17Southern Miss -9, 65Underdog, Under
2010Tulsa 62 Hawai'i 35Hawai'i -10.5, 75Underdog, Over
2009SMU 45 Nevada 10Nevada -11, 69.5Underdog, Under
2008Notre Dame 49 Hawai'i 21Hawai'i -2.5, 49Underdog, Over
2007East Carolina 41 Boise State 38Boise State -11.5, 66.5Underdog, Over
2006Hawai'i 41 Arizona State 24Hawai'i -8.5, 72.5Favorite, Under
2005Nevada 49 UCF 48 (OT)Nevada -4, 64Underdog, Over
2004Hawai'i 59 UAB 40Hawai'i -3.5, 77Favorite, Over
2003Hawai'i 54 Houston 48 (3OT)Hawai'i -11, 75.5Underdog, Over
2002Tulane 36 Hawai'i 28Hawai'i -12.5, 64.5Underdog, Under
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