Bet of the Day – Iowa Hawkeyes at Arizona Wildcats, Sept 18, 2010

Iowa Hawkeyes (-2) at Arizona Wildcats (+2), Over/Under 42.5

Yesterday’s bet, Cal Bears at Nevada Wolf Pack, was a HUGE bust.  It’s a new day and we are taking on the big non-conference game today, Iowa Hawkeyes at Arizona Wildcats.  Both the Hawkeyes and Wildcats have potent offenses and top-ranked defenses.  Iowa beat Arizona last year at home, but now faces a better Arizona team in a late-evening road game.  Both teams have faced soft opponents to date, but that will change tonight.

Senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi leads the 2-0 Hawkeyes into tonight’s matchup.  Stanzi is averaging 10.56 yards per attempt (YPA) with 3 TDs and 0 INTs for a 183.59 QB rating.  With RB Adam Robinson averaging 7.0 yards per carry, the Hawkeyes are dangerous on the ground and in the air.  Iowa is averaging 6.8 yards per play (YPP) and 12.7 yards per point (YPPT) on offense while allowing only 3.8 YPP for 30.9 YPPT.  They are efficient on offense and clearly stingy on defense.  In their 2nd game against in-state rival Iowa State, 5 different players scored touchdowns and Iowa forced 3 turnovers.  You have to wonder if the travel and time of the game will take a toll on Iowa.  They have a tougher schedule this year, does this game hold the same value to the Hawkeyes as it will for the revenge minded Wildcats.

The Arizona Wildcats (2-0, #24) ended the 2009 season on a sour note (33-0 Nebraska loss).  Junior quarterback Nick Foles is averaging 9.73 YPA with 3 TDs and 2 INTs for a 174.77 QB rating.  Foles has a talented group of weapons, including WR Juron Criner.  Criner has seen limited action in 2010, but caught 9 TDs averaging 12.9 yards per catch in 2009.  The Wildcats are averaging 7.3 YPP and 10.8 YPPT (very efficient) while allowing 3.1 YPP and 44.2 YPPT.  Arizona’s defense has played with a purpose this year; their pass defense has been superb.  But the Wildcats will sink or swim with their run defense tonight.

The Sagarin Ratings project Iowa 81.5 and Arizona 81.28.  With a 3.01 home field advantage, the projected point spread is 2.79.  The current point spread is Arizona -2.  This is a very close line and there isn’t too much betting value.

My football model projects Arizona 25.4 over Iowa 22.91 for 48.32 total points. Digging into the stats, both teams have balanced and productive offenses.  Their scoring efficiency is nearly identical.  Arizona is slightly more efficient on defense.  The key variance contributors are Iowa run and pass offense.  Iowa needs to move the ball (at a level similar to their 1st two games) and convert points to win this game.

The betting line has moved to -2, a fair spread.  This makes it a tough game to call.  I am taking the home team tonight.  Here’s why.  First, the home advantage (Iowa’s first road game, playing late at night, and traveling West).  Second, Arizona has something to prove following an embarrassment in their bowl game and revenging a loss to Iowa last year.  Third, the Hawkeye pass defense is vulnerable and the Wildcat offense is very good.  Bet on the Arizona Wildcats -2. Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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One Response to Bet of the Day – Iowa Hawkeyes at Arizona Wildcats, Sept 18, 2010

  1. Pingback: Weekly Results – September 13th to 19th « Derek Bets

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