Oregon at California Spread
The California Golden Bears (3-7) host the third-ranked Oregon Ducks (9-0) Saturday night in Pac-12 North division play. Oddsmakers have listed Oregon as a 28-point favorite and have set the total at 67.5.
Why Oregon Covers
The Ducks have been dominant. Their nine victories have come by an average of 31.4 points. This average margin of victory hasn’t been padded by early season blowouts against lesser opponents either. Consider that their six conference wins have come by an average of 32.3 points. They are 4-0 against the spread in their last four conference contests.
Cal has lost three in a row straight up and against the spread and is just 3-7 against the number this season.
Oregon is 2-0 against the spread in true road games this season and 6-1 against the number in its last seven contests played outside Eugene. The Golden Bears are 1-5 against the spread at home this year.
The Ducks have had the upper hand in the series recently. They won each of the past three meetings with two of the wins coming by 28 points or more.
Oregon has the most explosive offense in the country. It leads the nation in scoring with 54.3 points per game. It ranks fourth in total offense with 561.2 yards per game.
The Ducks should have no trouble moving the football against a Cal stop unit that ranks 75th in total defense with 416.0 yards allowed per game.
The fact Cal has struggled against the run is a big concern. It has given up at least 170 rushing yards in each of its past three games and now it’s up against the nation’s second-best rushing attack. The Ducks are averaging a ridiculous 341.2 rushing yards per game.
Cal will have its hands full trying to slow down senior running back Kenjon Barner. He has rushed for 1,295 yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging a massive 7.2 yards per carry. He’s not the only weapon the Golden Bears have to worry about either. De’Anthony Thomas has racked up 508 yards and seven scores on the ground while averaging 8.3 yards per tote.
Why California Covers
Oregon hasn’t been quite as dominant away from home where it has won by an average of 19.3 points per game this season.
The Golden Bears have given the Ducks problems in Berkeley. Oregon only won by two points as a 19-point favorite in its last trip there. Cal has won three of its last four home games in the series. It has either won or lost by 28 points or less in eight of the past nine matchups overall. It is also worth noting that the home team has covered the spread in each of the last four meetings.
Cal has clearly been at its best at home where it has picked up two of its three wins. It is even on a 4-1 against the spread run at home when matched up against teams that have winning road records.
Oregon has an elite running game but Cal is on a sweet 25-11 against the spread run versus teams that average 200.0 rushing yards or more per game. It has only lost by an average of 1.4 points in these games.
The Golden Bears held the Ducks to 162 rushing yards when they nearly pulled off the shocker in 2010.