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Arizona Wildcats 2014 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2014-15 Football Previews – (Pac-12) – Wildcats

The Arizona Wildcats are entering their third season under head coach Rich Rodriguez, and they’re making strides toward improvement, having gone 8-5 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-12 both years.

Pac-12 Conference 2014-15 College Football Previews: Arizona (Link)
Head Coach: Rich Rodriguez
2013 Record: 8-5
Arizona Gambling Odds to win BCS Championship:100-1
Arizona Gambling Odds to win Pac-12 South Division: 10-1
Arizona Gambling Odds to win Pac-12 Conference: 25-1

The hope now is that this group can take a step forward not from where it was when Rich Rod arrived, but from where it’s been the past two seasons. Arizona has the arduous, if not impossible task when it comes to replacing star running back Ka’Deem Carey—not to mention answering questions at quarterback—but if that can take place, an experienced offensive line will take the pressure off of whoever the primary playmakers become.

Team Strengths:

The Arizona Wildcats, as previously mentioned, do have an experienced front line. Four OL guys are returning, which is huge considering how well they’ve adapted to Rodriguez’s up-tempo offense. That experience is going to help the newcomers in the backfield, and the hope is that it makes life easier following such a strong offensive season a year ago, particularly in the running game.

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Additionally, the receivers are experienced as well. The group has six players who are all starting-caliber talents, and just as important is the return of Austin Hill. He missed all of 2013 with a knee injury, but he caught 81 passes in 2012 and could challenge guys like Cayleb Jones and DaVonte’ Deal as the No. 1 target.

Defensively, look for Scooby Wright to be one of the biggest difference makers. At linebacker, he recorded the fourth-most tackles (83) on the team last season, and that was as a true freshman. The Wildcats held opponents to just 24.2 points per game in 2013, and if they can do it again, this sophomore will be one of the big reasons why.

Team Weaknesses:

Although the defense has a clear leader in Wright, this group needs work on the line. The defensive ends are more than capable of holding their own, but the guards are thin and nobody in the group of linemen are great at rushing the pass.

When it comes to offense, we hate to beat a dead horse, but replacing Carrey and B.J. Denker will not be easy. There’s now an open competition for quarterback, and finding someone to replace Carrey’s production seems unlikely even in Rodriguez’s run-heavy offense.
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Regarding special teams, the return game has been a problem during Rich Rod’s early stint with the team. It should be much improved in the head coach’s third year, but it’s still an area to keep an eye on considering recent history.

2013-14 Arizona Football Prediction: 7-5

If the Wildcats can establish a clear-cut quarterback option before the season begins, and more importantly get him to succeed in the fast-paced offense right out of the gate, this group has potential. It could play well enough to earn its third-straight 8-5 record (or even a game better), but that would mean the stars have aligned in Tucson.

At this point, it’s easy to see how this group could take a small step backward. The schedule sets up nicely at the beginning, giving Arizona four chances for easy wins to start the year, but then with Oregon, USC and UCLA making up three of the next four, the team could realistically be back at .500 half way through the year.

This will be a fun team to watch, as quarterback and running back play will determine success as much as any team in the conference, but they’re far from a safe bet at this point in the process.

2014 Arizona Schedule

  • Fri, Aug 29 Vs UNLV
  • Thu, Sept 4 @ UTSA
  • Sat, Sept 13 vs Nevada
  • Sat, Sept 20 vs California
  • Thu, Oct 2 @ Oregon
  • Sat, Oct 11 vs USC
  • Sat, Oct 25 @ Washington St
  • Sat, Nov 1 @ UCLA
  • Sat, Nov 8 vs Colorado
  • Sat, Nov 15 vs Washington
  • Sat, Nov 22 @ Utah
  • Fri, Nov 28 vs Arizona State

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Articles on CappersPicks.com are written by Q (the Head Honcho) at Cappers Picks or by our resident "in house" handicapper Razor Ray Monohan! Enjoy the free picks folks! "Pad that bankroll one day at a time!"