The Illinois Fighting Illini (6-6) travel to California at the end of December to face the Cal Golden Bears (7-5) in the 2019 Redbox Bowl. Kickoff is set for 4:00 PM EST on December 30th at Levi’s Stadium and the game will be nationally televised on FOX.
Taking a look at the full list of college bowl betting odds, Cal is currently listed as a 6.5-point favorite. The total for the game is sitting at 43 points. You can also click here to check out our 2019-20 bowl predictions page.
Redbox Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: Cal vs Illinois
Illinois lost two straight games at the end of November to finish the regular season with a .500 record overall. The Fighting Illini really struggled on both sides of the ball their last time out, falling 29-10 at home against Northwestern to move to 6-6 overall. QB Matthew Robinson went 8/17 for 108 passing yards through the air while also failing to find the end zone as well. RB Dre Brown scored the only touchdown of the game for the offense, finding the end zone on one of his five carries for just 17 yards. Overall, Illinois averaged 27 points and just over 300 total yards of offense through their first 12 outings.
The Fighting Illini were pretty average on the other side of the ball this year, giving up just over 25 points and 400 total yards of offense per game. Illinois struggled to contain opposing offenses on the ground at times, allowing around 200 rushing yards on a weekly basis.
Cal won three out of their final four games down the stretch to finish the regular season 7-5 overall. The Golden Bears looked very solid on both sides of the ball their last time out, beating rival UCLA 28-18 at the end of November. Cal jumped out to an early 14-10 in the first half and never looked back, giving up just a single touchdown the entire second half. QB Chase Garbers went 17/29 for 230 passing yards and a touchdown through the air while also getting picked off once as well. RB Christopher Brown Jr. absolutely torched the Bruins on the ground, racking up 111 rushing yards and two touchdowns on a team-high 18 carries. Overall, Cal averaged 20 points and over 300 total yards of offense during the regular season.
The Golden Bears were pretty strong defensively this year, limiting their opponents to 22 points and under 400 total yards of offense per game. Cal was especially strong defending against the run, surrendering under 125 rushing yards per outing.
2019 Redbox Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: OVER 43
I don’t really have a strong lean against the spread in this spot, as both teams have really been playing well over the past couple of months. Cal went 8-4 against the spread during the regular season, while Illinois has now covered the number in six out of their last seven outings overall. Instead of rolling the dice with either side against an efficient-looking number, I’d much rather take a shot with the OVER on 43 total points scored. While neither offense was very impressive this year, Illinois did give up at least 29 total points in two out of their last three outings in November.
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These two schools have also been involved in their fair share of decently high-scoring battles in recent years, as the total has now gone OVER in two out of their last three meetings. The OVER has also come through in six out of Cal’s last seven outings against opponents from the BIG 10 conference. Finally, the Golden Bears scored at least three touchdowns in three out of their final four games this year. I’m going to avoid both programs against the spread in favor of the OVER on 43 total points scored in the 2019 Redbox Bowl.