Bet Spread Favorite Arizona -22.5 vs. UNLV College Football

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 4:10 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 4:10 PM UTC

A couple of teams that had winning seasons in 2013 collide on Friday in the 2014 season opener for both teams, when Arizona hosts UNLV. Read the article by our NCAA football betting odds expert before embarking on your sports wagering regarding this game.

NCAA Football Season Opener in the Valley of the Sun
The Arizona Wildcats will host the UNLV Rebels on Friday night with the opening kickoff slated for 10:30 PM ET. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN, and will be the season opener for both teams. According to NCAA football odds, Arizona is a 22.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 60.0. At the time of this writing 88% of the point-spread action in this game was wagered on Arizona.

UNLV Hoping to Build of the Momentum from 2013
UNLV football had a banner year in 2013 with all things considered. They went 7-5 during the regular season, qualified for a bowl game, and then unfortunately lost 36-14 in that postseason affair at the hands of North Texas. However, we must keep in mind that this was a program that had gone a combined 6-32 in the previous 3-years before last season’s turnaround.

UNLV History of Road Futility
The Rebels entered the 2013 season in the midst of a 22-game road losing streak, but were able to win 3 road tilts that were instrumental to their successful campaign. Putting their road woes into perspective, before winning at New Mexico last September 28th, they had gone 3-49 in their away games since 10/23/2004, and that included an anemic 10-42 ATS. The good news is dating back to the 2012 season UNLV has gone 5-1 ATS in their last 6 as a road underdog.

“Rich Rod” Challenged in 2014
Rich Rodriguez begins his 3rd season as head coach at Arizona. The Wildcats went an identical 8-5 in each of his first 2-seasons at the helm, including a pair of bowl game victories. The bad news is that his team was a terrible 2-7 ATS as a home favorite versus FBS opponents in his 2-year tenure in Tuscon, including 0-4 ATS as a favorite of 10.0 or more.

Key Losses for the Wildcats
The Wildcats lost the leading rusher from a season ago Ka’Deem Carey who declared early for the NFL draft. All Carey did was rush for 100-years or more in the last 16-games of his Wildcats career. They also lost their starting quarterback B.J. Denker to graduation, in addition to his top two replacements. The defense returns 6-starters from a season ago, but will have numerous question marks heading into the year.

Final Analysis
One of my golden rules of thumb is to never lay more than 21-points with a college football favorite. However, I just can’t make a case for the underdog in this one, and quite frankly the books look as if they’re begging you to take UNLV plus the points. Kudos to Bobby Hauck (head coach) and the job he did a season ago in the turnaround at UNLV. Unfortunately, the Rebels lost some key personnel to graduation, and the program is under scrutiny again for academic violations. I’m going to have the smallest of leans on laying the big number with Arizona on Friday night.

NCAA Football Betting System
Any college football home favorite of 16.5 or more, that won 9-games or less in the previous season, versus an opponent that won 7-games or more in the previous season, and both teams are playing their opening games of the year, has gone 21-8 ATS (72.4%) since the start of the 1980 season. In case you’re wondering about a potential upset, the home favorite won all 29 of those games straight up.

College Football Pick: Arizona -22.5 (very small lean)

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