The BYU Cougars went 11-1 in 2020, thanks in large part to the presence of Zach Wilson. Well, he’s off to the New York Jets now, but the Cougars will look to sustain that form. Their first test of the season is up against the Arizona Wildcats at a neutral site Saturday night. Arizona is eyeing to snap a 12-game losing skid that dates back to 2019. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our college football series, which includes the Notre BYU-Arizona odds, prediction, and pick we have laid out below.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the lines for this BYU-Arizona showdown.
CFB Odds: BYU-Arizona Odds
BYU Cougars -12.5 (-110)
Arizona Wildcats +12.5 (-110)
Over 53.0 (-110)
Under 53.0 (110)
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Why BYU Could Cover The Spread
BYU’s offense will not have Zach Wilson, but the Cougars should still be able to get things done on that side of the ball. The Cougars can’t expect the same production it had on offense in 2020 after losing Wilson and other parts of their 2020 campaign, but this is still a capable offensive unit that can break past Arizona’s porous defense. Taking over Wilson’s spot for BYU is Jaren Hall, who’s got enough familiarity with the Cougars’ offense and experience to be able to shine against the Wildcats’ stop unit.
Last season, Arizona’s defense operated like a broken turnstile, allowing close to 40 points per game and over 470 total yards per contest. Arizona’s defense is expected to improve this season, but it might take a while before that shows. Defensively, BYU will be rolling out a new-look group of defenders, though experienced linebackers Payton Wilgar, Max Tooley, and Keenan Pili are all back. The trio should be huge in slowing down the Wildcats’ attack that barely scored 17 points per game in 2020. Those looking to back BYU should feel good about the fact that the Wildcats are just 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 games as underdogs by at least 10 points. Read on for more about BYU-Arizona odds and pick.
Why Arizona Could Cover The Spread
The year 2020 was not great for the world in general. Wildcats fans couldn’t even look back to that season for something to feel good about as the program went winless in five games. There’s no way but up for Arizona, though, and the arrival of Jedd Fisch as Kevin Sumlin’s successor brings promise to the Wildcats. Fisch also managed to attract new members of the coaching staff to Tucson, many of which have NFL experience.
It’s a new start for the Wildcats, who have the potential to be the most surprising team of the 2021 college football season. Fisch will be working with a new starting quarterback in Gunner Cruz, a transfer from Washington State. The offensive line returns three starters so Arizona has at least that going when it takes on Notre Dame’s defense that lost quite a lot of talent. Cruz will be working with a nice group of receivers, with all six top wideouts last season returning, though Jamarye Joiner will not be suiting up against Notre Dame, as he continues to recuperate from an offseason foot surgery.
Final BYU-Arizona Prediction & Pick
The last time the Wildcats played, they were absolutely decimated in a 70-7 home loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils in December 2020. The public may still be holding on to that game, as a reason why most of them are not going to take Arizona against BYU. At the same time, many could also be thinking BYU is going to be just as deadly on offense as it did a season ago. These two factors seem favorable to the line given to Arizona. The Cougars will still end up winning, but I’m picking the Wildcats to cover BYU-Arizona odds.
FINAL PICK: Arizona Wildcats +12 .5 (-110)