The UCLA Bruins host the California Golden Bears this week after firing head coach Jim Mora on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 10:30 PM EST on Friday, November 24th from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The game will be televised on FS1.
The Bruins enter the game as 7-point home favorites. Early betting has unaffected the line, as UCLA originally opened at -7. The over/under is set at 64 points. Click here for a full list of Week 13 betting odds and links to game previews.
Cal vs UCLA Game Preview & Betting Odds
The Golden Bears dropped back below .500 on the season after a tough 17-14 loss against the #20 ranked Stanford Cardinal last week. Cal stayed competitive all game but couldn’t find away to put any points on the scoreboard in the 4th quarter. RB Patrick Laird had another solid game, rushing for 153 yards and one touchdown. QB Ross Bowers has also played fairly well this season, averaging 254.3 passing yards per game. As a whole, the Golden Bears are averaging 27.8 points on 377.8 total yards per game. On the other side of the ball, Cal is allowing their opponents to score an average of 28.3 points per game on 427.0 total yards per game. However, they have managed to have a positive turnover margin after their first 11 games (+4).
UCLA also dropped to 5-6 on the season after a tough loss to #12 USC last weekend. The Bruins kept things interesting until the final whistle, eventually losing 28-23. They also decided to part ways with head coach Jim Mora after the game, which should make things very interesting heading into this match-up. QB Josh Rosen had another fantastic game, passing for 421 yards and three touchdowns. Rosen has been phenomenal all year long, throwing 24 touchdowns and averaging 351.5 passing yards per game. He is definitely the catalyst for this top-ranked UCLA offense that is averaging 34.1 points per game on 466.0 total yards. Unfortunately for the Bruins, they have been completely abysmal defensively. UCLA is giving up an average of 37.6 points per game and a ridiculous 491.5 total yards.
Free College Football Against the Spread Pick: Cal +7
This game is hugely significant for both teams. as the winner will move forward to a bowl game while the loser is likely done until next season. Cal should have a lot of confidence after keeping things close against Stanford while UCLA will be tasked with figuring out a way to move forward without Jim Mora after a short week of practise. The Bruins have now lost four out of their past six games. I don’t see any possible way that they can fix their drastic defensive weaknesses quickly enough to slow down Cal this week. The Golden Bears can certainly win this game straight up, but even if they don’t, I definitely think they should be able to do enough to stay within a touchdown of the Bruins.
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Cal is 5-1 ATS in their past six games against teams with a losing record and 4-1 ATS over their past five games overall. They are also 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games. UCLA is just 4-9 ATS over their past 13 games and a brutal 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games following an ATS win.
I feel as if there is a very real possibility that UCLA looks disorganized and slightly lost in their first outing under a new head coach. Cal has been playing great football lately, and has certainly been the better defensive team all season as well. While I think that Josh Rosen will likely have another great showing in this one, I think the Golden Bears do enough to easily stay within a touchdown. Don’t be surprised if Cal even finds a way to win this one straight up.