Arizona Wildcats are the underdogs in their opening game against BYU in Las Vegas.

Arizona Wildcats Underdogs in Opener Vs. BYU in Las Vegas

The Arizona Wildcats football team is embarking on a new journey as they kick off their inaugural season under head coach Jedd Fisch in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Arizona will launch legal sports betting on September 9, just in time for NFL betting. Daily fantasy sports contests have already started in the state since last Saturday. Betting on the Arizona Wildcats will be available for their upcoming game.

BYU is the current favorite by 12.5 points with an over/under of 54 on various Arizona betting apps. While bets are not yet being accepted, you can check out the odds and game information on BetMGM Arizona, WynnBet Arizona, Caesars Arizona, DraftKings Arizona, and FanDuel Arizona.

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Challenged by the long odds of the season ahead

The Wildcats are entering the 2021 season as the clear underdogs, with Bet365 offering them +7500 odds to clinch the Pac-12 championship and Caesars giving them a slim +50000 chance of winning the 2021 College Football Playoff.

Fisch and his team are seen as major underdogs when they face the Cougars at Allegiant Stadium this Saturday. DraftKings, BetMGM, Unibet, Pointsbet, and BetRivers all have the Wildcats as 12.5-point underdogs, with FanDuel Sportsbook listing Arizona at +11.5.

The Wildcats vs. Cougars game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Arizona time (10:30 p.m. EST) and will be airing nationwide on ESPN.

Arizona has been on a losing streak since their victory over Colorado in Boulder on October 5, 2019. They will aim to end their 12-game losing streak in the season opener on Saturday.

The Wildcats ended the 2020 season winless at 0-5, largely affected by COVID-19, and ultimately suffered a crushing 70-7 loss to Arizona State in the Territorial Cup.

The loss ultimately sealed then-head coach Kevin Sumlin’s fate, as Arizona Athletic Director Dave Heeke chose to dismiss the former head coach of Houston and Texas A&M during the offseason.


Welcome the new individual.

Having spent more than two decades as an assistant coach in college and the NFL, Fisch comes to Tucson after serving as the quarterbacks coach for the New England Patriots in 2020.

The new head coach announced that Gunner Cruz, a transfer from Washington State, and freshman Will Plummer will both be getting playing time at quarterback in Saturday’s game against BYU.

Plummer was the leading passer for the Wildcats in 2020, throwing for 388 yards on 80 attempts. He will be back as the team’s top passer for the upcoming season.

In 2017, Cruz, a redshirt freshman, guided Casteel High School in Queen Creek to a 3A state championship after accumulating more than 9,000 passing yards over his three seasons.

Fisch’s strategy involves having Cruz join the game during the team’s initial drive against the Cougars.

Afterwards, the team can decide which quarterback to choose based on Cruz’s performance in his debut game wearing the cardinal and navy blue uniform.

Fisch informed the reporters that if they score two touchdown drives in a row, he won’t need to substitute another person, which he considers a positive situation.

A BYU Problem

The Wildcats and Cougars have been rivals for many years, dating back to when they were both members of the Western Athletic Conference.

Arizona has a slight advantage in the head-to-head record against the Cougars, with 12 wins, 11 losses, and 1 tie. Despite this, the Wildcats have lost their last two games against Washington State, with scores of 28-23 in 2018 and 18-16 in 2016.

Since returning to Provo in 2016, Kalani Sitake has guided the Cougars to a record of 38-26 in his sixth year as head coach.

The former BYU fullback led the Cougars to an impressive 11-1 record last year, including a win in the Boca Raton Bowl. This marked the team’s highest number of wins in a season since their 11-2 record in 2009.

Sitake and his team must now find a new quarterback to fill the void left by the departure of the talented Zach Wilson, who was chosen by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Wilson had an impressive 2020 season, throwing for 3,692 yards and 33 touchdowns in just 12 games, while only throwing three interceptions.


New QB for Cougars

The Cougars have decided to name redshirt sophomore Jaren Hall as their starting quarterback for next year, putting their faith in a player who sat out the 2020 season and did not see any game action.

Redshirt sophomore Tyler Allgeier, who rushed for 1,130 yards and scored 13 touchdowns in a successful season, will be coming back to play for the Cougars.

The Wildcats will rely on their defense and new defensive coordinator Don Brown to put pressure on Hall on Saturday night, which will force Allgeier to step up and make plays in order to create openings for the team’s passing game.

Brown, who earned the nickname “Dr. Blitz” during his tenure as defensive coordinator at Michigan, seemed unbothered by BYU’s offense in his pregame comments.

Brown asserted with certainty, “I can assure you that they are cognizant of our approach across the walls.”

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Author

Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has dedicated over seven years to reporting on sports and sports betting in Arizona. He has contributed to ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News, and currently serves as the lead writer at yengols.com.

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