Willie Tuitama and the Arizona Wildcats will be an "over" bettor's dream this season.
Do you like betting overs in college football? Do you enjoy sitting back and watching points being scored like a pinball machine? If you answered "yes" to both of those questions, than do I have the team for you. No team is set up better to cash more overs this season than the Arizona Wildcats.
Last year Sonny Dykes brought the Texas Tech-spread offense to Tucson. After a few early bumps in the road, the Wildcats were an offensive machine toward the end of the year. In winning three of their final four games, Arizona scored 48, 34 and 34 points respectively. They also topped forty points two other times last season. Now for the scary part: The Wildcats offense is going to be much better in 2008.
Early on last season, Dykes had to call mostly short passes because his system is so complicated, quarterback Willie Tuitama needed time to digest everything. As the season went on and Tuitama grew more comfortable directing the new offense, Dykes was able to open up his playbook. Now heading into Year 2, nothing is off limits. Dykes has already stated publicly that the Cats will throw downfield more often this season.
"It's like night and day where we are today compared to where we were last year," Dykes said this spring. "Last year at this time, these guys were still trying to get comfortable with the basic principles of the system. Now, it's like they have been running it their whole lives. Willie is a completely different player heading into this season. He's beaming with confidence and can't wait to get going. I think we will be much more of a quick-strike offense this year now that everyone is on the same page."
Well, if Tuitama is going to be better than he was last year, Pac 10 defenses are in a lot of trouble because he led the conference with 28 touchdowns passes and ranked second with 3,683 yards in 2007. Tuitama is going to have a chance to put up ridiculous numbers in Dykes' offense this year.
The thing I love about this offense is its continuity. Including, Tuitama, the Cats return 10 starters on the offensive side of the ball, so virtually every player on the field will be in their second year in Dykes' system. Arizona is loaded with quality receivers to team with Tuitama. Mike Thomas was the Pac 10's leading receiver a year ago, hauling in 83 passes and 11 touchdowns. Terrell Turner, Terrell Reese, Delashaun Dean, along with tight end Rob Gronkowski, gives Tuitama a plethora of dangerous weapons in the passing game.
The line, which improved as the year went on last season, returns four starters. Three of those players have started for at least two years, so this should be the best offensive line Bob Stoops has had since arriving at Arizona.
While there is very little doubt that the Wildcats will be an offensive machine this season, the defense has to be totally rebuilt after losing eight starters. The biggest shoes to fill are that of star corner Antoine Cason. I believe Cason was the best corner in college football the last two years and Arizona's defense sucked with him. Can you imagine how much worse it's going to be without an NFL-caliber shutdown corner taking away one side of the field? Also gone are linebacker Spencer Larson and defensive tackle Lionel Dotson. Overall, the Cats lost their three best defensive players off a defense that ranked near the bottom of the Pac 10.
How is this for rebuilding? Arizona must replace its entire defensive line, both starting corners and two starting linebackers? They have no proven pass rushers, which means the new corners will be tested early and often. The Wildcats will be playing a lot of freshman and sophomores on the defensive side of the ball this year. In other words, the Wildcats are going to have to rely on their offense to outscore people, especially early on in the season while the defense gets its feet wet.
So let's take a look at Arizona's first three games. They play Idaho, Toledo and New Mexico. Idaho is replacing seven starters on defense, including both cornerbacks. Their projected starters at corner heading into the season opener are a freshman and a sophomore. They have no proven pass rusher to get after the quarterback. Good luck.
Toledo has five starters returning on defense. They are returning to a defense that gave up almost 40 points a game in 2007. The Rockets ranked near the bottom in both rush and total defense last year. They gave up more than 40 points five times. But here is the best part: The Rockets have an explosive offense. Led by quarterback Aaron Opelt, Toledo is going to put up a ton of points this season and will have one of the most explosive offenses in the MAC. Circle this one because this is a possible monster play early in the year.
Then we have New Mexico. The Lobos defeated Arizona last year in a game that totaled 56 points. These two may eclipse that total by halftime this year. The Lobos offense is absolutely loaded with QB Donovan Porterie, RB Rodney Ferguson and a bunch of big-play receivers. The line has to replace four starters, so keep an eye on how they play in their first two games against TCU and Texas A&M. New Mexico's defense isn't nearly as bad as Idaho and Toledo but it could be susceptible early in the year while they replace three starting linebackers, both defensive ends and star safety OJ Swift.
So there you have it. If you like points (and money), Arizona is your team. Tuitama is going to blow up this year and he'll need to while a young defense finds its way. I would strongly advise making the Arizona Wildcats your primary "over" team in college football this season.
THANX TR.....GOOD STUFF
Great stuff Tommy - I can't wait to make money on these guys early this season.
Thanks Chuck. The best part about Toledo is they have an NFL-caliber receiver in 6-5 Stephen Williams, along with another explosive receiver in Nick Moore, to really take advantage of a green Arizona secondary. The reports out of Toledo's spring practices were that the Rockets passing attack couldn't be stopped. That tells me two things: Toledo still have an explosive offense and a terrible defense. Amazingly, Toledo is one of the teams I feel that I have a great read on for the upcoming season, so hopefully we'll be able to make some money playing their games.
TR, Nice Read. I'll have my "eye" on these two teams. We got about 8 weeks til Kick Off!!!!!!
Thanks for the feedback Chad. I'm hoping we get some nice lines early on to take advantage of here. They can make that Toledo game 90 if they want to. I'm drooling to get a piece of that one. I'm not sure if there will be a better bet all football season than the over in that game. Both teams will have played a game to work out the kinks and I would say the Rockets and Cats each have one of the worst defenses and arguably the best offenses in their conference. Should be a wild one.
I like it Touchdown Tommy. After Gus Malzahn (former Arkansas OC) was installed as Tulsa's OC prior to last year, I cleaned up early on Tulsa Overs last season. After a few weeks, the books adjusted, but I believe I went 6-1 on Tulsa totals last year...3 or 4 of those wins were to start the season.
I'm starting to feel it...football's just around the corner.