College Football Predictions: Arizona vs. Toledo Betting Odds and Football Picks
by Aaron Smith - 9/3/2010
The nationally televised college football game on ESPN this Friday night will feature the Arizona Wildcats traveling to Toledo’s Glass Bowl to take on the Rockets. Mike Stoops has a talented team this year in Arizona, but they haven’t fared well on the road in the last couple of years. Toledo has quite a bit of talent in place, but they did lose some major contributors from a year ago. These two met to open the season in 2008, and the Wildcats won, 41-16. This time Toledo gets the home field advantage, but will it be enough? Let’s take a closer look at this Friday night college football showdown.
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College Football Predictions: The Offenses
The Arizona Wildcats offense is filled with playmakers, and they should definitely be one of the best in the Pac-10 this season. Nick Foles is the signal caller for this team, and he showed the conference how productive he can be in his time under center last year. Foles finished 2009 with a 63 percent completion rate and 19 touchdown passes. Nic Grigsby and Keola Antolin form a nice duo in the backfield that can run it effectively and help out in the passing game. Seven of the top eight receivers from last year are back; Foles should have plenty of options in the passing game. All in all, this Arizona offense appears loaded and ready to take a big step forward.
The Toledo Rockets lost quarterback Aaron Opelt, but Austin Dantin appears ready to step in and carry the load. The wide receivers are solid, with Eric Page standing out as the clear star of this group. Page caught 82 passes for 1,159 yards in 2009, and the coaches expect another huge year from him. Morgan Williams will be the top runner for Toledo, and he has proven his ability on the field, but he has had some off-the-field issues that have slowed him down at times. The offensive line allowed only 18 sacks last year and four of their five starters are back. The Toledo offense should be one of the best in the MAC this season.
College Football Predictions: The Defenses
The Arizona defense returns just four starters from a year ago. Mike Stoops is known as a defensive coach, but he could have his hands full trying to get this unit to win big games for the Wildcats this year. All three linebackers will be new, and this has to be a concern for Stoops and his coaching staff. The defensive line is good at getting heat on the quarterback and the secondary is solid. The Wildcats will probably be weaker against the run this year, but they’ll be decent against the pass.
The Rockets were atrocious on defense in 2009, which is exactly why they failed to reach a bowl game. Toledo allowed just over 37 points per game in 2009, and they proved unable to stop the run or the pass. The front seven of this defense is terrible at stopping the run, and they almost never pressure the quarterback. The secondary is decent, but with opposing quarterbacks standing in the pocket all day they have a tough job. This defensive unit is definitely below average and will hurt their team’s chances in this and many other games in 2010.
Arizona vs. Toledo Betting Odds and Line Movement
The Arizona Wildcats are now a 15.5-point road favorite, after opening as a 12.5 point favorite. The public is definitely pounding Arizona in this matchup. The total opened at 58.5 and has now moved to 60 at most books. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this total move up even further before kickoff.
Arizona vs. Toledo Betting Trends
Arizona is just 2-7 ATS in their last nine road games and Toledo is just 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. The ‘over’ is 16-7 in Toledo’s last 23 home games. The ‘under’ is 6-1 in Arizona’s last seven games overall.
College Football Predictions: Arizona vs. Toledo Betting Picks
This season opener should have plenty of offensive fireworks. Both teams have a strong offense, and the weakness of both squads is their defense. I think Arizona will win this game, but Toledo is 14-4 in their last 18 home openers, so it may be closer than some people would expect. Given the defensive issues of both squads, the best play in this game appears to be the ‘over’. Expect an early season shootout in this one.
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