The Arizona Wildcats haven’t enjoyed much success in road openers in recent years, which provides the UTSA Roadrunners with some value at the Alamo Dome Thursday night.
Quite a performance
Arizona shattered its single-game record for total offense with 787 yards in a 58-13 victory over the UNLV Rebels as 21-point home favorites last Friday, while going OVER the betting total of 59.
The Wildcats have put together a perfect 9-0 straight-up record under third-year head coach Rich Rodriguez in non-conference games, which can’t be ignored when making your college football picks, especially since it has also won all 10 games under his direction when winning the turnover battle.
It’s important to point out that the program is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 opportunities against a team with a winning record.
Forcing the issue
The UTSA defense forced a school-record six turnovers in its 27-7 victory over the Houston Cougars as 7.5-point road underdogs in Week 1, while going UNDER the betting total for the fifth consecutive contest dating back to last season.
The Roadrunners scored on 85.4 percent of their red zone trips in 2013, and continued the positive trend to start the 2014 campaign. Larry Coker’s squad scored on all five such trips against Houston, with three rushing touchdowns and a pair of field goals.
NCAA football handicappers will find that the team is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games against non-conference opponents.
Quite a debut
Quarterback Anu Solomon became the first freshman to ever start a season opener for the Wildcats, which is important to consider when looking over the college football odds in Week 2, as he completed 25-of-44 passes for 425 yards and four touchdowns with an interception.
Arizona has some weapons for Solomon to target in the passing game, especially with Austin Hill returning from an ACL injury, as he caught three passes for 110 yards in the opener.
A lot of experience
The Roadrunners returned a national-leading 37 seniors and total of 21 starters this fall, which makes them a major contender to capture the Conference USA championship at the end of the year.
One position where UTSA is not experienced is under center, as its five career games played at the position are the third-fewest in major college football, but Tucker Carter is protected by an offensive line with 143 combined starts.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Roadrunners as one of their college football picks, as I established the Wildcats as 5.5-point favorites in this matchup.
Arizona may win this game in outright fashion, but will fall to 5-10-1 ATS in its last 16 games as a road favorite.
College Football Pick: UTSA Roadrunners +7 at 5Dimes