This Saturday first place in the Pac-12 North will be on the line when then No. 13 Oregon Ducks host the California Golden Bears. Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST at Autzen Stadium and will be televised nationally on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened up this line at Oregon -18.5, but early money on Cal has driven it down to the Ducks -17.5. The total opened at 47.5 and has dropped to 46 at most books.
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California vs Oregon Betting Odds & Vegas Game Preview
California Golden Bears (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12)
The Golden Bears will be looking to bounce back from their first loss of 2019. Cal fell at home 24-17 to Arizona State as a 4.5-point favorite. They didn’t just lose the game, starting quarterback Chase Garbers suffered a shoulder injury and was unable to return. Gabers had gone 9 of 12 for 117 yards with a TD before the 2nd quarter injury. Backup Devin Modster was just 5 of 14 for 23 yards with an interception in relief of Gabers.
It’s also worth noting that Cal went into the game against ASU ranked No. 15 in the country and after a close loss are not ranked at all. They will definitely get back in with another road win. Golden Bears made headlines early with a 20-19 upset win at then No. 14 Washington. They also won 28-20 at Ole Miss.
For those betting on Cal, it’s all been about what the books say. Golden Bears are 2-0 ATS as an underdog and 0-3 ATS as a favorite.
Oregon Ducks (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12)
The Ducks come into this one off their first of two byes in 2019. Last time we saw Oregon, they cruised to a 21-6 win and cover at Stanford as a 10.5-point road favorite. Oregon has now won 3 straight since that crushing loss to Auburn on a neutral site to start out the year.
All the talk about the Ducks coming into this season was centered around senior quarterback Justin Herbert, who likely would have been a 1st round pick in the NFL draft had he opted to leave early. Herbert has not disappointed, as he’s completed 74% of his attempts for 1,127 yards with a perfect 14-0 TD-INT ratio.
What people need to start talking about more is how good the Oregon defense has been playing under first year defensive coordinator Andy Avalos (was previously DC at Boise State). Ducks are allowing just 10.5 ppg and 263 yards/game. Opponents are averaging just 3.9 yards/play.
For the most part the Ducks have dominated this series. They won 42-24 as a small 2-point road favorite at Cal last year. They are 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings with the Golden Bears. The only game Cal has covered in the series since 2010 is a 52-49 win at home in 2016 as a 2.5-point underdog.
NCAAF Free Betting Prediction & Game Pick: Oregon -17.5
My early lean here would be lay the points with Oregon. I think the betting public is going to take notice of what Cal has done with their two big upsets at Washington and Ole Miss and assume they can cover this three-score spread. I don’t like public dogs at all, especially in big games and this line looks so far off that I think you take Oregon or pass.
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Outside of the fact that the Ducks are the better team and might be the only ones that can score in this contest, two big factors with Oregon are the massive home field edge in night games at Autzen Stadium and the fact they get two fulls weeks to prepare off a bye (Ducks are 20-8 ATS last 28 off a bye).
I wasn’t joking with Cal not being able to score. Based on what we saw last week against Arizona State, there’s a big drop off at quarterback going from Gabers to Modster. That’s going to allow a really good Oregon defense to load the box and take away the Golden Bears’ two biggest threats in running backs Chris Brown and Marcel Dancy. Also No. 2 wide out Kekoa Crawford is listed as questionable on the injury report.
Also, as good as Cal’s defense is, and it’s really good, you can only do so much. If the offense can’t get first downs, the defense is going to wear out. There’s also likely to be some turnovers by the offense with them playing from behind both on the scoreboard and in the down and distance. Last year Herbert only threw for 225 and 2 scores, but the Ducks put up 42 points and 485 yards. Give me Oregon -17.5