Hawaii Bowl betting preview

Fresno State, tri-champions of the Mountain West Conference, makes its return to bowl play after a one-year absence when it takes on Southern Methodist in the Hawaii Bowl Christmas Eve in Honolulu (8 pm ET, ESPN).

In early Hawaii Bowl betting odds the 9-3 Bulldogs were favored by 11 points over the 6-6 Mustangs of Conference USA.

Underdogs are 6-1 ATS past 7 Hawaii Bowls and the best underdog lines are available on our NCAA football odds pages.

[ More Hawaii Bowl betting trends, picks and preview information ]

View Southern Methodist vs Fresno State Odds and Stats.

Betting Line: Bettors looking to back the visiting Mustangs in this one found them as 12-point underdogs on the opening college football point spread at TopBet. The total was 59.5 earlier, check for the latest at Bovada.


SMU Bowl History

Year Bowl Team1 Score Team2 Score Team2Line ATS win
2009 Hawaii Bowl SMU 45 Nevada 10 -11 SMU
2010 Armed Forces Bowl Army 16 SMU 14 -7 ARMY
2011 Compass Bowl SMU 28 Pittsburgh 6 -4 SMU

Fresno State Bowl History

Year Bowl Team1 Score Team2 Score Team2Line ATS win
1999 Las Vegas Bowl Fresno State 16 Utah 17 -5 FRESNO
2000 Silican Valley Bowl Air Force 37 Fresno State 34 -1 AIRFOR
2001 Silican Valley Bowl Michigan State 44 Fresno State 35 -4 MICHST
2002 Silican Valley Bowl Georgia Tech 21 Fresno State 30 6.5 FRESNO
2003 Silican Valley Bowl UCLA 9 Fresno State 17 3 FRESNO
2004 MPC Computers Bowl Fresno State 37 Virginia 34 -6 FRESNO
2005 Liberty Bowl Tulsa 31 Fresno State 24 -7.5 TULSA
2007 Humanitarian Bowl Fresno State 40 Georgia Tech 28 -5.5 FRESNO
2008 New Mexico Bowl Fresno State 35 Colorado State 40 2 COLOST
2009 New Mexico Bowl Wyoming 35 Fresno State 28 -10.5 WYOMNG
2010 Humanitarian Bowl Northern Illinois 40 Fresno State 17 1.5 N.ILL

How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Fresno State's No. 12-ranked offense (40.2 PPG) against a Mustangs defense that ranks No. 57 at 27 PPG. The Bulldogs passing attack has averaged 322.6 yards per game, more than the Mustangs give up through the air (271.2 YPG on average).

Defensively, the Mustangs feature the league's No. 42-rated road run defense, allowing 146.8 yards per game. Fresno State, meanwhile, ranks No. 65 in rushing offense at home.

In their last action, Southern Methodist was a 35-27 winner at home against Tulsa. They covered the 6-point spread as underdogs, while the combined score (62) was profitable news for OVER bettors. Garrett Gilbert tore up the turf for 111 rushing yards in the latest Mustangs game, a 35-27 win over the Golden Hurricane at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

Fresno State was a 48-15 winner in its last match at home against Air Force. They covered the 16.5-point spread as favorites, while the total score of 63 sent OVER bettors to the payout window. Derek Carr's 452-yard performance through the air was enough last time out, as Fresno State earned a 48-15 win over Air Force on Saturday at Bulldog Stadium.

Southern Methodist Mustangs Trends:
When playing in December are 1-3
When playing on turf are 6-4
After being outgained are 6-4
When an underdog on the road are 2-8

Fresno State Bulldogs Trends:
When playing in December are 3-7
When playing on turf are 4-6
After outgaining opponent are 6-4
When favored at home are 7-3

A few Mustangs at Bulldogs trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Southern Methodist's last 7 games
Southern Methodist is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
Southern Methodist is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Fresno State
Fresno State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Fresno State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Southern Methodist
Fresno State is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Southern Methodist