It’s finally that time of year. Football is back, and it couldn’t have come quickly enough. While the NFL regular season gets started on September 9, college football isn’t waiting and the Vegas Kickoff Classic will be held this Saturday. The game will be a matchup between two cats – the Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars and the University of Arizona Wildcats – and is set to make history.
College Football Has Arrived
Football is always a big deal in the US, but this year could be even bigger. COVID-19 made attending pro games last season a virtual impossibility and the college football season was cut short as non-conference games were removed from schedules. Fans have been looking for some relief. The Vegas Kickoff Classic promises to deliver, with a record-setting 57,000 tickets already sold. That’s the most for any college football game ever played in Nevada, and Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, is going to love the attention. The venue only has seating for 65,000 and, with walks-ins possible, this could be a completely sold-out game.
There’s a lot of movement going on in college football right now. The Big Ten, the ACC and the PAC-12 are discussing a merger, of sorts, and The University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma are going to move from the Big 12 to the SEC in a couple of years. Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) rights for student-athletes are now a reality, with athletes scrambling to pick up revenue through new sponsorship and endorsement deals. While all that activity is taking place behind closed doors, the upcoming season will try to appear as normal as possible, with this Saturday’s game an opportunity to get things started on the right foot.
Oddsmakers At Odds Over BYU-Arizona Matchup
Bookmakers have weighed in on the Vegas Kickoff Classic and one thing is perfectly clear – there is no clear favorite in the game. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Wildcats are predicted to win just one game this year. However, with a new head coach in Jedd Fisch, the team will be looking to prove itself to be stronger than its 0-5 conference showing last year. The Picks And Parlays sports betting site, on the other hand, thinks Arizona has a chance to win this weekend, although by just one point, capitalizing on its “retooled defense” and a more cohesive offense.
FanDuel disagrees. Currently, it puts BYU as a 12.5-point favorite to win. The Wildcats has the better track record, at 12-11-1, against the Cougars, but BYU took the latest contest – back in 2018. SB Nation also thinks BYU will take it, with sports analyst and journalist Nick J. Lee asserting, “With a new offensive coordinator and new quarterback to break in, the Cougars might not be as explosive as fans want. Still, they should beat Arizona, who hasn’t had a winning season since 2017.”
Sports betting is not an exact science, which is part of the reason it makes for good entertainment. Come this Saturday, football fans will learn which of the books was closer to making the right call.