This Friday the No. 15 California Golden Bears (4-0) will host the Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1) inside Pac-12 play. Kickoff is set for 10:30 EST at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley and will be televised on ESPN.
Oddsmakers opened up this game at Cal -5.5, but early money has lowered the line to the Golden Bears -4.5. The total opened at 41.5 and has been bet down to 40 and even 39.5 at some places.
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Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Arizona State vs California
Arizona State Sun Devils
The Sun Devils have been apart of two of the surprising results the past two weeks. In Week 3 they pulled off a massive upset, knocking off No. 18 Michigan State 10-7 as a 15.5-point underdog. This past week they lost 34-31 at home as a 7.5-point favorite to unranked Colorado.
The failed cover against the Buffaloes dropped Arizona State to 1-3 ATS. They are 0-3 ATS when listed as a favorite in 2019 and 1-0 ATS as a dog.
True freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels bounced back in a big way. After throwing for just 140 yards and 0 touchdowns against the Spartans, he set a new career-high with 345 yards in the loss to Colorado. He also now has a solid 5-1 TD-INT ratio. The big surprise is the slow start to the season for junior running back Eno Benjamin. Coming off a 2018 season where he rushed for 1,642 yards and 16 scores, he’s got just 292 yards and 3 scores through 4 games in 2019.
California Golden Bears
The Golden Bears are coming off a controversial 28-20 win at Ole Miss as a 2.5-point road dog, where the Rebels felt the officiating really helped Cal. Either way that’s another solid road win for the Golden Bears, who earlier this year won 20-19 at then No. 14 ranked Washington.
Cal is 2-2 ATS and much like the Sun Devils it’s depended on whether they are a dog or a favorite. Golden Bears are 2-0 ATS as a dog and 0-2 ATS as a favorite.
Much like it has been since head coach Justin Fuente took over, defense has been the calling card for the Golden Bears in 2019. Cal is giving up just 17.2 ppg, 3.9 yards/carry and 5.8 yards/pass attempt. With that said, sophomore quarterback Chase Garbers had himself a day last week against the Rebels, throwing for 357 yards and 4 scores. He had just 478 yards and 3 scores the first 3 games combined.
These two teams haven’t played on the field since 2016, that year the Sun Devils won 51-41 at home as a 3.5-point favorite. The high-scoring affair was no shocker, as the total for that one was 85 points. Cal won the previous meeting 48-46 as a 3.5-point home favorite in 2015.
Free College Football Betting Pick & Predictions: Cal -4.5
My early lean here would be to lay the short number with Cal at home. I mentioned it last week in my Cal/Ole Miss write-up that it just doesn’t feel like the public is completely buying into this Golden Bears team. Clearly that win didn’t change a whole lot, as the line here has already moved a full point in favor of the Sun Devils.
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The big concern that people have is the offense, but it’s not like Arizona State is lighting it up on the offensive side of the ball. The Sun Devils got two wins this year where they have scored fewer than 20 points. One of those being a mere 19-points at home against Sacramento State, who they were favored to beat by 35.5 points.
You know with how good Cal has been to start the year and this being a nationally televised night game, the atmosphere is going to be electric at Memorial Stadium Friday night. I know Arizona State’s QB is coming off a big game, but that was against a bad Colorado defense. I could definitely see the true freshman struggling in this spot on the road.
I also think that it’s important to note that he will likely need to play a big role in this game, as Cal’s defense is definitely good enough to keep Eno Benjamin in check.
Another thing to note is that the Sun Devils are just 4-14 ATS in their last 18 road games off an upset loss to a conference opponent and have lost by an average of 10.1 ppg in this spot. Sun Devils are also just 12-26 ATS last 38 on the road vs a team that’s won 75% or more of their games. Give me the Golden Bears -4.5!