Texas Tech vs. Arizona NCAAF Pick – Week 3

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will get their first measuring stick of the season in Week 3. They’ll head to Tucson for a meeting against Arizona Wildcats on Saturday night. Texas Tech have had an easy time in the first two weeks, but that was against Montana State and UTEP.

Montana State is an FCS school and UTEP are the bottom of the barrel in the FBS. They had a couple of weeks to work out some kinks against inferior teams, so that’s a positive. The negative for Texas Tech is that they’re going to go from 0 to 100 in one week.

The Red Raiders will not have the benefit of playing a team who can’t throw it more than 20 yards or sustain a drive. UTEP couldn’t generate anything until Texas Tech started to roll through the backups on defense. They failed to score any points until the final minutes of the contest, which resulted in 3 points on a field goal to break up the shutout. The question being asked in Lubbock is if their defense is much better this season under Matt Wells, or if it’s more of a result of the quality of opponents they’ve played so far.

The way I see it, it’s a little bit of both. Texas Tech are not going to be nearly as bad under Wells defensively as they were with Kliff Kingsbury at head coach. However, don’t expect quantum leaps in one season. They’re not a top-10 defense. Statistically they are in the top-10 because of Montana State and UTEP. Expect them to plummet out of the top-10 following this trip to Arizona. That said, they won’t be near 130th in the nation by December.

The Miners struggled to move the ball on Houston Baptist in Week 1, and Montana State scored just 38 on Southeast Missouri State last week. The Montana State QB threw for just 136 yards on SEMO. Now, Texas Tech have to deal with Khalil Tate and J.J. Taylor on the road.

Tate is a dynamic player who can beat the Red Raiders in a multitude of ways. Taylor is the lead back at Arizona and is a tremendous pass catcher as well. This isn’t to say that Texas Tech wouldn’t be capable of keeping up with Tate and Arizona in a track meet.

Alan Bowman can sling it around and have the offense moving at warp speed. The Wildcats’ defense hasn’t played an offense like this, either, but have already been getting torched. Hawaii run a similar offense, albeit not as fast and talented as Texas Tech, and they made it look easy in Week 1. We’ll see if anything changes against the Red Raiders. Head below for our free Texas Tech vs. Arizona pick.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Arizona Wildcats NCAAF Week 3 Betting Odds:

Spread:

  • Texas Tech -2(-115)
  • Arizona +2(-105)

Total:

  • Over 76.5(-115)
  • Under 76.5(-105)

Betting odds provided by bovada.lv

Texas Tech vs. Arizona Pick:

The Texas Tech offense is going even faster now with Matt Wells as the bench boss for the Red Raiders. Offensive coordinator David Yost spent time in Oregon under Chip Kelly and is using a lot of the same fundamentals from that team at Texas Tech. The speed they go at is very similar to the Marcus Mariota team at Oregon. Alan Bowman doesn’t have the wheels that Mariota possessed, but he has an accurate arm that can move the ball in a hurry downfield.

Bowman has passed for 696 yards with 5 touchdowns and 1 interception in two games. The interception was not his fault, as his receiver gave up on the play against UTEP. The Miners were able to collect an easy interception in their own territory to neutralize what looked like an easy Texas Tech touchdown coming up. Bowman is likely going to have a field day against Arizona in this one.

The Red Raiders certainly didn’t show their entire playbook against Montana State and UTEP. I watched both games and I do not recall a deep shot across the middle of the field. They kept everything really simple to keep tape on their playbook of the hands of Arizona. The Wildcats will implement man to man coverage in this game. It hasn’t gone well thus far for Arizona.

Hawaii moved the ball efficient in a 45-38 win. They could have scored around 55 points if Cole McDonald made better decisions. He threw 4 interceptions to kill drives, most of which weren’t because of excellent plays by Arizona. And then last week, North Arizona were able to score 41 points on the Arizona defense. I can’t see this going well against a Texas Tech offense, who are going to come at them fast.

Despite playing Hawaii and Northern Arizona, the Wildcats are 123rd in the FBS with 519 yards allowed per game. Having said that, I’m under the impression that Khalil Tate is going to go wild in this contest. The Texas Tech secondary has yet to be tested. Montana State and UTEP do not have quarterbacks, but Arizona has one of the most dangerous in football, along with a potent running game led by J.J. Taylor.

He may not have as many set run plays called for him, but he’s developed tremendously as a passer. Both teams could easily get into the 40’s in this game. Considering how fast both offenses want to go, there are going to be a lot of opportunities for home run balls and quick drives. A final score of 45-41 or 48-40 looks accurate.

The Bet
OVER 76.5
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.