College football betting handicappers have been impressed with the gradual improvement of Arizona as a bowl commodity to bet on college football action with.
Kickoff at Toledo is at 8:05 PM Eastern and Sports-Gambling.com opened with Arizona as a 14.5-point favorite with a total of 60.
Arizona was in the Pac-10 Conference race all the way to the end last year and finished 8-5 straight up and 6-5-1 against the spread with a bad loss in the Holiday Bowl to Nebraska 33-0.
Arizona has shown a NCAA betting profit in 4 out of their last 5 seasons as 7th year head coach Mike Stoops continues his attempt at building a consistent Pac-10 Conference contender.
This year Arizona returns 8 starters on offense led by junior quarterback Nick Foles, who passed for 2486 yards and a 19/9 TD/INT ratio in 2009. The defense returns just 4 starters, which is of concern, as last year’s more experience unit allowed 24 points per game.
The defense has struggled in training camp and was lit up in the final intra-squad scrimmage of August.
“We’re not playing good enough to compete for a championship at this time,” said Stoops. “If we don’t get better defensively, then we’ll struggle.”
While Stoops has certainly improved the program from the wreck that it was when he took over Arizona fans are still getting restless as progress into the next level as a regular and serious top shelf contender is taking longer than expected.
While the blowout loss with the college football odds to Nebraska was humiliating, the Wildcats are moving on.
“It doesn’t burn at all anymore,” said Foles.
“The loss in the Holiday Bowl really humbled us,” said Stoops. “We realized how quickly things can disintegrate if we don’t do things right. I think we are eager to get back out on the field and correct some of those things.”
Since 2008 Arizona has a college football betting mark of just 1 payout in 6 games as a road favorite. The Wildcats have covered just 3 out of their last 11 non conference games.
Toledo could be dangerous in this spot as they beat Colorado 54-38 last year in a Friday night ESPN home game as 4-point dogs. The Rockets finished 5-7 last year for their 4th straight losing season.