Why is nobody paying attention to Arizona?!
The Wildcats are 5-3, but all three losses have come by one possession, two came to top-10 teams, and two came in overtime. Arizona is coming off back-to-back road victories against ranked opponents.
All the Wildcats do is get up and cover the number week in and week out. They’re 6-1 ATS, including 5-0 ATS as an underdog.
When catching points this season, Arizona is covering the number by 17 points per game.
Why isn’t anybody talking about Arizona!?
The Wildcats are well-balanced on offense and surprisingly tough on defense, especially against the run.
Pro Football Focus grades the offensive line as the country’s best pass-blocking unit, the Jacob Cowing-Tetairoa McMillan wide receiver duo has been explosive, and the ground attack ranks third nationally in Rush Success Rate.
Behind all that support, redshirt freshman quarterback Noah Fifita has completed 75 percent of his passes for 1,200 yards, 11 touchdowns and only three interceptions in relief of injured starter Jayden de Laura.
Honestly, Fifita might be playing better than de Laura.
The bookmakers are still disrespecting Arizona, making the Wildcats home ’dogs to a UCLA team that’s struggled in both its conference road games.
At Utah, the Bruins mustered only seven points in a 14-7 loss. Somehow, the Bruins’ usually dangerous ground attack ran for 9 yards on 32 attempts (the number includes sacks, but it’s still impressive).
At Oregon State, the usually stifling defense allowed the Beavers to rack up 7.7 yards per play. UCLA lost 27-24.
Our Action PRO model projects this game as a pick ’em, so I’ll happily grab the most undervalued team in college football as an undeserving home ’dog.
The pick: Arizona +2.5.
IOWA STATE (-2.5) over Kansas
Kansas is off a program-changing victory over Oklahoma.
The wild 38-33 victory got the Jayhawks into the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time.
But that was a great situational spot, with the Jayhawks coming off a bye against an overvalued Sooners squad.
This week is a horrific situational spot. It’s the perfect spot for a Jayhawk letdown against an upstart Iowa State squad in Ames.
Somehow, someway, Matt Campbell has righted the ship and has the 4-1 Cyclones tied for first place in the Big XII.
The Iowa State defense has always been elite — it ranks first in the Big XII in yards per game allowed.
But the offense has started to improve, with quarterback Rocco Becht finding more consistency and the backfield averaging over 160 rushing yards per game during the past month.
Betting on College Football?
The ever-improving Cyclone offense should exploit a Kansas defense that ranks seventh-to-last nationally in Success Rate allowed.
And I’m unsure if Jason Bean and Co. can pick themselves up after a hangover-inducing, field-rushing upset win.
Last week: 1-2. Kansas (W), Florida (L), Kentucky (L).
2023 season: 12-14.
This story originally appeared on NYPost