Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#357 Hawaii vs.
#358 New Mexico State
Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 8:00pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will head on the road to Las Cruces, New Mexico for a non-conference clash versus the New Mexico State Aggies at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.

Hawaii comes in riding a two-game losing streak after dropping back-to-back games against Oregon State and San Jose State. The Rainbow Warriors come in with a 1-3 overall record while the Aggies enter with an identical 1-3 mark after beating South Carolina State last week.

Can New Mexico keep its momentum going with a win at home over Hawaii on Saturday?

Cordeiro, Hawaii can't complete comeback vs. San Jose State

Hawaii was unable to complete its comeback against the San Jose State Spartans, falling short 17-13 at home last weekend. Chevan Cordeiro completed just 18-of-39 passes for 242 yards while Nick Mardner led the team with five catches for 97 yards in the loss. Calvin Turner Jr. scored the team’s lone touchdown on a run from one yard out while kicker Matthew Shipley connected on a pair of short field goals after a couple of Hawaii drives stalled inside the red zone. Hawaii actually won the turnover battle and outgained San Jose State 369 to 291 in total yards but couldn’t find a way to pull off the upset.

Since winning the starting job in fall camp, sophomore quarterback Chevan Cordeiro has been rather unimpressive for the Rainbow Warriors this season. The 6-foot-1 signal-caller has completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes in each of his last two starts and has thrown nearly as many touchdowns (six) as interceptions (five) through four games. For the season, Cordeiro has thrown for 891 yards while completing only 55.4 percent of his passes. He leads an offense averaging 24.8 points and 416.3 total yards per game.

On defense, Hawaii has surrendered 35.3 points per game, which ranks 112th in the FBS. The Rainbow Warriors have given up 429.5 yards of total offense per game, including 158.3 yards per game on the ground. However, Hawaii put together its best defensive performance of the season in its last game against the Spartans, limiting San Jose State to just 56 rushing yards and 2.2 yards per carry in the loss.

Maldonado earns Player of the Week honors after first career start

New Mexico State survived a shootout in a 43-35 victory at home against winless South Carolina State last week. Dino Maldonado completed 24-of-32 passes for 321 yards with three touchdowns while Juwan Price scored two rushing touchdowns to help the Aggies win their first game of the season. New Mexico State led 21-0 early and 43-13 in the third quarter before South Carolina State staged a furious late-game rally by firing off 21 unanswered points.

The performance earned Maldonado College Sports Madness Independent Offensive Player of the Week. The California native became the first Aggie to throw for 300 yards in their first-career start since JJ McDermott in 2007.

A walk-on, Maldonado was thrust into the lineup after Aggies’ starter Jonah Johnson injured his wrist in the first quarter of the game against New Mexico. Backup Weston Eget was also unavailable due to a knee injury, giving the 6-foot-2 sophomore a chance to put his talents on display. Maldonado flashed his potential by connecting on a 75-yard touchdown pass against New Mexico and turned in a 300-yard, three-touchdown performance in his first career college start.

On defense, New Mexico State has surrendered 31.8 points and 444.5 yards of total offense per contest. The Aggies will have to find a way to stop the run moving forward, as they’ve given up a whopping 180 yards per game on the ground, good for 99th in the nation.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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New Mexico State’s offense got a jolt from walk-on quarterback Dino Maldonado, who threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start. The sophomore will be under center once again for the Aggies this week, which bodes well for their chances of covering the spread against Hawaii. Hawaii has had its fair share of struggles on the defensive side of the ball, so it’s probably wise to take the home team with the points here. Take New Mexico State to cover the 17-point spread at home in this battle on Saturday evening.Β 

Prediction: New Mexico State +17.0

Full-Game Total Pick

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These two teams are projected for 62 points but that number seems a bit too low in this spot. Neither of these teams has been very interested in getting stops on the defensive side of the ball this season. Hawaii has given up 35.3 points per game while New Mexico State has surrendered 31.8 points per contest and both teams have given up over 400 yards of total offense per contest. Look for this game to turn into a shootout and take this matchup to go over the projected total at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening.Β 

Prediction: Over 62.0

Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He has been a very successful sports bettor over the years and has now brought his talents to us here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.