The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors take on the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Hawaii UNLV prediction and pick.

This is an uncertain situation for the Hawaii basketball team. Do the Rainbow Warriors know how good — or limited — they are? They are 5-2 on the season, which seems like a decent record on the surface but might be a little thinner and less impressive than the numbers might indicate. Hawaii lost by only three points to a solid Yale team which figures to be a top-line contender for the Ivy League championship. That loss isn’t too bad. However, Hawaii just did lose to Texas A&M Commerce, which is a resume-destroying loss. The Rainbow Warriors badly need to recover from that result. They might have been looking ahead to this game against an unbeaten UNLV squad. Hawaii’s best win might be its most recent one, away from home against the Texas State Bobcats. That is an indication of the level of opponent Hawaii has faced so far this season. Even skeptics of Hawaii hoops would be willing to accept the idea that we need to see UH play better competition before we get a fuller read on this team. However, it’s hard to claim that Hawaii has been tested by the very best in college basketball, which makes a cautious assessment of this team the appropriate one heading into the second week of December.

UNLV is gaining optimism and traction under head coach Kevin Kruger. His father, former college basketball head coach Lon Kruger, led UNLV to the Sweet 16 in 2007. The Rebels do have a perfect record, but much like Hawaii, we need to see this team against more formidable opposition. UNLV beat Dayton, a team which has struggled in the early portion of the season. The Runnin’ Rebels beat Minnesota, which has been one of the least impressive teams in the Big Ten through four weeks of play. UNLV played its first true road game of the season in its most recent contest. The Rebels did win by 17 points, which is great, but San Diego is not a cutthroat foe. UNLV is doing what it is supposed to do, but the schedule has been light, and the Rebels need to make a stronger statement on the court before they are accorded higher status in college basketball.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Hawaii-UNLV College Basketball odds.

College Basketball Odds: Hawaii-UNLV Odds

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors: +8.5 (-110)

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels: -8.5 (-110)

Over: 129.5 (-115)

Live and breathe sports?

🚨 Get viral graphics, memes, rumors and trending sports news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

Under: 129.5 (-105)

Why Hawaii Could Cover the Spread

The Rainbow Warriors played Yale well in a tough, close game. They have had only one really bad performance this season, the loss to Texas A&M Commerce. Aside from that horrible display, Hawaii has generally been competent and responsible this season. A competent and responsible performance at UNLV should enable the Rainbow Warriors to stay close for 40 whole minutes and cover.

Why UNLV Could Cover the Spread

Playing at home, UNLV should get a considerable boost from a crowd which ought to be fired up about an unbeaten start to the season. Beyond that element of this game, UNLV is simply a much better team than Hawaii. If UH lost to Texas A&M Commerce, UNLV should be able to win by at least 10 points if not more.

Final Hawaii-UNLV Prediction & Pick

UNLV is a much better team than Hawaii. The Rebels should be able to pull away in the second half and win very comfortably.

Final Hawaii-UNLV Prediction & Pick: UNLV -8.5