It is the moment we have all been waiting for, the beginning of the college football season. Football rules when it comes to sports betting, in the United States anyway, as college football and the NFL attracts the most action in Las Vegas. It seems like football is all being pushed back a week this season, as college football usually begins in August, but tonight is the night we get to take our first look at the 2015 college football campaign. The first night features several marquee teams, including the University of Michigan, TCU, and Arizona. It is of course the first game of the Jim Harbaugh era in Michigan. The Wolverines will travel to face an underrated Utah team that may give them some issues. The Utes are never the flashiest team, but they hang around and like to play spoiler. Their coming out party was that Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama a few years back. While Harbaugh is going to turn things around in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines don’t get a walk in the park their first game of the season. I don’t recall Michigan ever playing on a Thursday night, but they’re on the card tonight.
In other action on the first night of college football, TCU looks to get off to a fast start in their quest for the National Championship in Minnesota. That is one of those games that you know if TCU doesn’t take the Gophers lightly they should blow them out. However, come in with the idea that it’s going to be an easy one, then it may turn into a game where Minnesota is hanging around late. For the purposes of my first pick of the season, we head to Arizona where the Wildcats and Rich Rodriguez are expecting a better season. They were far from a bad team last season, but now with quarterback Anu Solomon entering his sophomore season, I expect an even better offense out of the Wildcats. Other than a few rookie mistakes here and there, Solomon looked great for the University of Arizona as a freshman. He looks to improve on that as he takes the controls under center.
This is a rematch of last season between the University of Texas-San Antonio and Arizona. Last season was kind of a surprise in a sense. The Wildcats were big favorites in that game, but looked quite inept, allowing the Roadrunners to at least make it a competitive matchup. The Wildcats were only able to win 26-23 with the Roadrunners just coming up short of pulling out the upset. For a lot of teams, it is a losing proposition basing last season on this season. I take a look at this early college football matchup and provide my first pick below.
UTSA vs. University of Arizona NCAAF Pick
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
UTSA vs. Arizona Pick:
UTSA is a program largely in its infancy. The Roadrunners came together in 2011 under head coach Larry Coker. They have a record of 31-31 since their inception, which for a young program like that with no recruiting history, a .500 mark is something to be proud of. Last season the Roadrunners finished with a record of 4-8, a step back from 7-5 and 8-4 the previous two years. Thus, we have seen a pattern with them. Last season was in fact supposed to be a big season for them. Plenty of players with experience that have been around on the roster, but they didn’t amount to anything. 4-8 is what was supposed to happen in 2015, last season was supposed to be their best yet with the seniors leading the way. Now that all of the seniors are gone, UTSA is going to be going through a rebuilding process this season. There is plenty of talent in Texas and players that don’t have the opportunity to go to a big school end up at Texas-San Antonio. I believe they’ll have a decent team in another couple years.
The Roadrunners have to say goodbye to 36 seniors, to make for one of the most amount of seniors departing out of any school in the country. 18 of which were part of the inaugural season at UTSA. Injuries were a large catalyst for why they finished 4-8 a season ago, and now they need to replace a substantial amount of talent, including quarterback Tucker Carter who was one of the only quarterbacks that knew how to run the offense. Due to the close call last season, the Wildcats aren’t going to take this team lightly. The 22nd ranked team in the nation needs a blowout showing against the Roadrunners at home. With a big opening game, the name Anu Solomon might be tossed into Heisman discussion. He does remind me of Russel Wilson a lot. The Cats should pound UTSA tonight at home. Lay the points and look for a large margin of victory.
PICK: ARIZONA -31.5 (-110)