The Arizona Wildcats 2019 season win total betting line has been set at over or under 7 wins. Early money is on the under as the money line is -160 whereas if you like the over, you get an underdog price of +120.
Arizona wasn’t as good as everyone thought it would be in the first season under Kevin Sumlin. Quarterback Khalil Tate was supposed to push the Wildcats to eight wins, instead, they finished 5-7, as the quarterback was never truly released until late in the year.
They were inconsistent from the start, Tate injury or not, and at a minimum, will try to get back to a bowl in 2019.
Could This Be Tate’s Year?
Tate eventually figured out the up-tempo Noel Mazzone offense and he finished with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 8.4 yards per attempt, but he only ran for 224 yards.
Sure, he had an ankle injury for a few weeks, but he entered the season as a top Heisman candidate after rushing for 1,411 yards the prior year. He won’t be rushing as much as 2017, but it’s hard to deny his talent if they want this offense to be as good as possible.
At the least, running back is still loaded between J.J. Taylor (1,434 yards, 6 TDs) and Gary Brightwell (525 yards). Receiver has questions with a lot of new faces, but Cedric Peterson is expected to step up in a bigger role, while underclassmen Drew Dixon and Boobie Curry could eventually become starters.
The line returns three starters and has a couple incoming juco transfers, but the depth behind those guys is minimal with little to no experience.
Don’t Expect Much from This Defense
The defense mostly struggled last year allowing 432 yards and 32.6 points per game, though it was still an overall improvement under Marcel Yates. The goal this year is to get more of a pass rush, something it lacked most of the season.
The front four is mostly new, but no drop-off is expected with end J.B. Brown and tackle Finton Connolly expected to lead the way.
The defense still runs through linebacker Colin Schooler (119 tackles), though he’s not the only one with Tony Fields and Kylan Wilborn also in the unit.
The secondary gets back corner Jace Whittaker from an elbow injury and that should help Lorenzo Brown on the other side. This defense may not improve a ton, but it at least won’t fall apart, especially with Schooler in the middle.
2nd Half of Schedule Looks Tough
The hope for Arizona is to find more consistency on both sides of the ball and a much easier opening slate should allow for that. Its most difficult non-conference game comes at home against Texas Tech and then Pac-12 play opens against UCLA and Colorado.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Wildcats were 4-1 through the first five games, yet 2-3 is also possible given how 2018 went. If they don’t reach at least a bowl game, it’d be a massive disappointment.
Surpassing six wins is another question because outside of the home game against Oregon State in the second half of the year, there aren’t many favorable matchups.
That said, they still have huge potential in Tate and Taylor in the backfield. If those guys can unlock the offense at a consistent rate, beating anyone is possible.
Arizona opens at Hawaii – Here’s our write up and Free Pick
2019 Arizona Wildcats Football Schedule
Aug. 24 at Hawai’i (opened -11.5)
Sept. 7 vs. Northern Arizona
Sept. 14 vs. Texas Tech
Sept. 28 vs. UCLA
Oct. 5 at Colorado
Oct. 12 vs. Washington
Oct. 19 at USC
Oct. 26 at Stanford
Nov. 2 vs. Oregon State
Nov. 16 at Oregon
Nov. 23 vs. Utah
Nov. 30 at Arizona State