Vanderbilt vs Hawaii Odds, Picks and Predictions: Rainbow Warriors Get Rocked at Home

Week 0 takes place this Saturday, and the main event will be the Commodores hitting the road to face the Rainbow Warriors. After a drama-filled offseason, can the Warriors succeed? Find out in our college football betting picks for Vanderbilt vs. Hawaii.

JD Yonke - Contributor at
JD Yonke • Contributor
Aug 25, 2022 • 09:09 ET • 4 min read
Mike Wright Vanderbilt Commodores college football
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In what’s becoming a lovely tradition, Hawaii football will be playing in Week 0.

The Timmy Chang era begins in Honolulu as the former record-breaking quarterback steps in for the departed Todd Graham. 

Vanderbilt hopes to capitalize on a chance for a non-conference win. The Commodores have won just one SEC game over the last three seasons, so Clark Lea’s squad will be chomping at the bit as the favorites in Week 0.

Which team will grab a much-needed victory in the Week 0 nightcap? Find out in our free college football betting picks and predictions for Vanderbilt vs. Hawaii on Saturday, August 27.

Vanderbilt vs Hawaii odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

This line is on the move, and fast. After opening Hawaii +6.5 at most books during the summer, the current line is between +8 and +8.5 and could be headed even wider. The total opened at 55 but has been bet down to 53.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.

Vanderbilt vs Hawaii predictions

Predictions made on 8/24/2022 at 6:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Vanderbilt vs Hawaii game info

Location: Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex, Honolulu, HI
Date: Saturday, August 27, 2022
Kick-off: 10:30 p.m. ET

Vanderbilt vs Hawaii betting preview


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Key injuries

Vanderbilt: Rocko Griffin RB (Out).
Hawaii: No injuries to report.
Find our latest College football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 19-9 in Hawaii’s last 28 non-conference games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Vanderbilt vs Hawaii.

Vanderbilt vs Hawaii picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Let’s start with Hawaii. This program had one of the most tumultuous offseasons in recent college football memory, as former head coach Todd Graham faced allegations of mistreating players within the program.

There were lengthy court hearings and the light was shed on how dysfunctional this program had become under his watch. Graham ultimately stepped down in January, but not before a number of key players hit the transfer portal.

To get an idea of how bad the transfer portal exits were, the team lost its starting QB (Chevan Cordeiro to San Jose State), starting running back (Dae Dae Hunter, Liberty), leading receiver (Nick Mardner, Cincinnati), and several high-impact defensive players. Heck, things got so bad that Graham’s own son hit the portal! The Rainbow Warriors lost 19 players to the portal overall.

After a lengthy coaching search, program legend Timmy Chang was named Graham’s successor. A record-breaking field general for Hawaii in his playing days under June Jones, Chang is a first-time head coach who spent the last handful of years on Jay Norvell’s staff at Hawaii.

There’s no way around it — Hawaii is one of the least experienced teams in the nation. It returns only six starters in total and ranks 130th in returning production. Chang and company tried to replenish the cupboards via the transfer portal, but the damage had already been done.

Vanderbilt enters Year 2 of the Clark Lea era after improving from 0-9 during an SEC-only 2020 schedule to 2-10 a year ago. The Commodores’ two wins came against Colorado State and UCONN a year ago, and they even picked up a loss to East Tennessee State in Week 1.

This is far from a trustworthy team, but Lea’s team showed enough juice toward the end of last year to inspire confidence that things are moving in the right direction. 

There’s still a lot more for Vanderbilt to prove, but this program is farther along in its rebuild than Hawaii. Chang has a long rebuild in front of him. While this game will be played in Hawaii, only just over 9,000 fans will be in attendance at the makeshift home of Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex. With a full offseason to prepare for this one, I don’t see the road trip being as difficult as it would be midseason.

Vanderbilt could be better everywhere and is farther along in its rebuild. There’s still a -7.5 available at BetMGM.

Prediction: Vanderbilt -7.5 (-110 at BetMGM)

Over/Under analysis

There’s been some steam on the Under, but I’m not sure I agree with that sentiment.

Timmy Chang was a prolific QB in his day and wasn’t brought in to coach the defense. This program made it very clear that they needed to get back to their roots of a fun, high-flying passing attack. That went missing under Graham, but Chang will be tasked with reestablishing that identity. 

Chang spent the last five years coaching at Nevada learning under Jay Norvell, who operates a pass-first, high-scoring attack. As his offensive coordinator, Chang tabbed Ian Shoemaker for the role. Shoemaker most recently coached at FCS school Eastern Washington, operating a prolific passing attack that scored points in bunches.

All this goes to say that Hawaii will be looking to put up points in bunches this year. It may not happen immediately, but it’s also a possibility that bookmakers haven’t caught on to this new identity yet. For everything that they lost, the Rainbow Warriors have more reason for optimism on offense.

The line is very experienced with 110 career returning starts, and Dedrick Parsons is a breakout star waiting to happen at RB. Chang still hasn’t announced a starting QB, but it will likely boil down to either Brayden Schager or Joey Yellen.

For the positives mentioned about Hawaii’s offense above, the defense could be dreadful this season. Only two starters return on that side of the ball en route to a 130th ranking in returning production.

Vanderbilt may not be able to score a ton on SEC defenses, but the Commodores could put points on the board in this matchup. Mike Wright is a plus athlete at the QB position and could run wild in this one. Will Sheppard returns as the go-to receiver while true freshman Jayden McGowan is perhaps the fastest player on the team and will start immediately.

The Commodores should be disappointed if they don’t clear 35 points in this matchup. Hawaii will be operating a style of football that is conducive to Overs, and the defense is a giant question mark. I think some outlets are underselling the Rainbow Warriors’ chances offensively this season, so I’m optimistic they’ll contribute to this Over.

Prediction: Over 53.5 (-110 at bet365)

Best bet

I’m rocking with a late night Over as the best bet.

For a purely non-analytical reason, who doesn’t want to begin Week 0 rooting for points in a Hawaii late-night game?

For analytical reasons, I don’t believe Hawaii’s new identity is being baked into this line enough. The coaching staff is as different as possible compared to Graham. There’s enough talent remaining offensively and the system will look to put as many points on the board as possible in the weekly gameplan.

Hawaii’s defense could be in a world of trouble against Vanderbilt. Mike Wright won the starting QB battle and has the athletic ability to put up big numbers on the ground. He may not get to show that on a weekly basis in the SEC, but I expect him to “wow” some folks in Week 0. Ray Davis will be hard to bring down running the ball and this receiving room should find repeated success.

Give me the Over in the nightcap.

PickOver 53.5 (-110 at bet365)

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