College Football Week 1 Predictions: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. Arizona Wildcats

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. Arizona Wildcats
Friday, 8/29/14, 10:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Arizona -25
Current Betting Line:  Arizona -25
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The UNLV Runnin' Rebels are dangerous road underdogs in Week 1
The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels are dangerous road underdogs in Week 1

UNLV will be playing its fourth straight non-Saturday season opener this season, but it’s important to point out that the program is 1-13 SU in its last 14 road openers, including six consecutive losses in that situation by an average of 23 points.  The Runnin’ Rebels welcome back 51 lettermen and the entire coaching staff from a group that suffered a 36-14 loss to North Texas in the 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl.  The graduation of both quarterback Caleb Herring and running back Tim Cornett is a cause for concern in this particular affair, which can’t be ignored when making your college football predictions.  UNLV is 12-37-4 ATS in its last 53 true road games.

The Runnin’ Rebels were initially facing a bowl ban, but that decision has been overturned, which should provide a major lift to the locker room in preparation for the 2014 campaign.  Former starter Nick Sherry is expected to win the job under center, but he’ll face a healthy battle in camp—at least that’s what head coach Bobby Hauck is saying in Sin City.  Senior wide receiver Devante Davis is the main player to watch in this affair, as he grabbed 87 catches for 1,290 yards a season ago.

Arizona has won 13 consecutive home openers by an average of 26 points, while it captured a 58-13 win over UNLV as 10-point road favorites in Week 2 last season.  The Wildcats out-gained the Runnin’ Rebels by nearly 200 yards in that affair, with the bulk of the production coming on the ground in gaining 397 yards on 69 carries.  Third-year head coach Rich Rodriguez will welcome back 13 starters, but doesn’t have a sure-fire player to rely on at the quarterback position.  Arizona is 4-0 ATS in its last four August affairs.

The Wildcats are going to have a hard time covering this type of number on he college football odds page, with the departure of running back Ka’Deem Carey, who was one of he more electric playmakers in the country last season.  Arizona’s defense hasn’t been great since the arrival of Rodriguez in Tucson, which makes an ATS victory hard to imagine against a revenge-minded opponent.

Sports bettors will likely back the Runnin’ Rebels due to their 8-3 ATS mark in their last 11 overall games.

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