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Cal short-priced favourite over Hawaii in historic Sydney Cup

Wed, Aug 24, 11:12am by Staff Writer

Sydney Cup: University of Hawaii v University of California

NCAA College Football Division 1 Opening Round

Time: Saturday, August 27, 12:00 pm AEST

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney

TV: Fox Sports 2

In a great promotion for a sport that is becoming ever more popular in our great southern land, the opening game of the NCAA College Football season will be played on Aussie soil for the very first time. The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will host the California Golden Bears in a non-conference game that has more on the line than a win or a loss.

All the money has been with the Cal Bears to open their season with a win which has seen Sportsbet post them at $1.09, while Hawaii are clear outsiders at $8.

Cal and Hawaii don’t play each other often. The last time they met was in 1994, with the Rainbow Warriors winning 21-7. I’m backing the Cal Bears to win here, they play in a tougher conference, the Pac 12 and finished with a record of 8-5 last season. Hawaii on the other hand struggled last season and slumped to a 3-10 record in the weaker Mountain West conference.

WATCH: Oddshark’s Preview of the ‘Sydney Cup’

The Sydney Cup is not the first time we’ve seen College football on our shores but it has been a long time between drinks. The last time college football was played in Australia was way back in 1987 when Brigham Young University beat Colorado State University at Princes Park in Melbourne. Just 7,652 attended the ‘Melbourne Bowl’.

ANZ Stadium will play host to its second haka in as many weeks when the entire squad from Hawaii will take part in the biggest haka seen on Australian soil just before kick-off. It a great tradition, it is compulsory for all Hawaii staff and athletes to learn the haka. I wonder if the All Blacks, who defeated Australia on the same patch of grass last week, will be taking notes.

Each university has sent more than 200 coaching staff and players on the trip but only one can actually call it a home game. Sydney’s own Max Hendrie will make his debut as a defensive end for Hawaii in his home city. The Scots College old boy was a star in high school rugby, catching the attention of Hawaii recruiters and earning himself a scholarship to play American football in college.

The head-to-head market doesn’t offer any value so I’m going to take the total game points market of under 63.5 points. The fact that the game is being played in such unfamiliar surroundings coupled with Cal losing quarter-back Jared Goff to the NFL last year means that points will be hard to come by. Goff was taken with the first pick by the LA Rams.

BEST BET: Total points for the match under 63.5: $1.92

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