The biggest favorites on the college football odds board for Thursday night's opening games? That would be the Arizona Wildcats, who will host UTSA and are widely expected to dominate.
If you're wanting to back the Wildcats, you're going to be laying a ton of points. They're the largest favorites on the college football odds board, favored by 31.5 points at every sportsbook we've run over.
This game is also expected to be one of the most high-scoring of the night, as the posted total is at 60.5 points. Obviously, most of those points are going to come from this high-flying and potent Arizona team.
The Wildcats had a fairly successful 2014 season, going 10-3 in the regular season before losing a close one to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. They scored 40+ points on five different occasions, and picked up a few awesome wins over Oregon, Utah and Arizona State on their quest for a 10-win season.
As competitive as the Pac-12 is, Arizona is going to need to keep performing at that high of a level in order to compete for a top spot again in 2015. The good news? Essentially all of the Wildcats' top offensive producers will be back in 2015, starting with quarterback Anu Solomon, with running back Nick Wilson and wide receivers Cayleb Jones and Samajie Grant both returning as well.
Needless to say, Arizona is looking very strong ahead of the start of the new season, and this regular season opener sets up nicely for them to gain some confidence with what's likely to be a blowout win at home.
It's tough to get too excited about UTSA, considering they were able to muster up just four wins in the 2014 season. Perhaps the Road Runners' best performance actually came against this Arizona team; they lost by only three points in their own stadium and really pushed the Wildcats to the limit.
Both Tucker Carter and Austin Robinson got extended looks at the quarterback spot, though neither did all that much to inspire confidence. David Glasco II was the team's leading rusher (with only 570 yards and five touchdowns), while no wide receiver logged more than 280 receiving yards in the 2014 season. Yikes.
For 2015, it'll be freshman Blake Bogenschutz who takes over the reigns at quarterback, and only six total starters are returning from the 2014 team. Many are pegging the Roadrunners to finish last in the Conference USA, and it's easy to see why.
There appears to be little to no hope for the Roadrunners this Thursday, as they've lost a good chunk of their best players from last season and will run into an Arizona team that's got plenty of talent. Simply put, there's a reason this spread is as high as it is.
The Wildcats return a lot of their best players, starting with Wilson, who should have a field day against what projects to be a terrible UTSA defense. Solomon has proven he knows how to take command of the offense and find success, and he should only better and better with more games under his belt. Throw in two legit wideouts in Jones and Grant and you can see why many are expecting big things out of Arizona in 2015.
With that said, we are going to bite the bullet and take on all of this chalk with our college football picks. That high number is going to scare off a lot of people, but these Wildcats have shown they can put up points in a hurry, and we don't anticipate the Roadrunners being able to keep up despite them being competitive last season. Things have changed.
College Football Pick: Arizona Wildcats -31.5 at Bovada