College Football Week 1 Picks: Washington Huskies vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

Washington Huskies vs. Hawaii Warriors
Saturday, 8/30/14, 10:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Washington -21.5
Current Betting Line:  Washington -21.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors welcome back 17 returning starters that are eager to make amends for a forgettable 2013 season
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors welcome back 17 returning starters that are eager to make amends for a forgettable 2013 season

Washington has dropped 11 of its last 12 road openers, but it’s hard to imagine that the trend will continue with Chris Petersen arriving in the Pacific Northwest—coming in from Boise State after the departure of Steve Sarkisian to USC.  The Huskies bring back a talented roster that includes 14 returning starters, but left out of that group is former quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey.  Sophomore signal-caller Cyler Miles got his feet wet in 2013—completing 37 of 61 passes for 418 yards and four touchdowns in limited action.  Washington is 5-1 ATS in its last six non-conference games.

The Huskies will miss Sankey’s special talents, but the team should be able to move the ball with 124 career starts returning on the offensive line.  On the other side of the football, Washington will likely get off to a good start in trying to hold opponents to under 4.0 yards per carry for the first time in nine years, as Hawaii doesn’t possess much of a running game.  The secondary is vulnerable if the line isn’t able to create pressure against an offense that likes to spread out opposing defenses.

Hawaii can only improve off a dreadful 1-11 campaign of a year ago, as third-year head coach Norm Chow welcomes back 17 starters and 48 letterwinners.  The Warriors may have had a better record if not for running back Joey Iosefa missing a bulk of the 2013 season, as he averaged 146.5 yards per game over the final four games.  On the other side of the ball, the unit will utilize a new 3-4 scheme, with UCLA transfer Jeremy Castro potentially being a playmaker.  Hawaii is 5-0 ATS in its last five non-conference titls, which is important to consider when looking over the college football betting lines.

The Warriors need to take better care of the football in hopes of staying within this number, as they finished last year with a minus-10 turnover differential.  Hawaill lost five games by seven points or less and three games were decided on the final possession with two overtime affairs—some facts that are hard to ignored when making your college football picks in Week 1.

Sports bettors will likely back the Rainbow Warriors due to their 6-1 ATS record in their last seven games versus Pac-12 Conference opponents.

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