The Stanford Cardinal (7-4) travel to Berkeley this weekend for a Pac-12 battle with the Cal Golden Bears (7-4). Kickoff is set for 3:00 PM EST on December 1st at California Memorial Stadium and the game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.
Taking a look at the Week 14 college football odds, Stanford opened as a 2-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has shifted by half a point after early betting, as the Cardinal are currently listed at -2.5. The total for the game is sitting at 48.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Cal vs Stanford
Stanford edged out UCLA 49-42 on the road last weekend to improve to 7-4 on the season overall. The Cardinal are now a solid 5-3 in conference play and bowl-eligible for the tenth consecutive year. QB K.J. Costello was fantastic against the Bruins, passing for 344 yards and five touchdowns. Costello has now thrown for 3,198 yards and 28 touchdows in just eleven games. He also had a big game against Oregon State in Week 11, as he and WR Colby Parkinson combined for four touchdowns and 166 yards. On the ground, RB Bryce Love simply hasn’t been himself this season. Just a year removed from rushing for 2,118 yards and 18 touchdowns, Love has only managed to run for 665 yards and six touchdowns. As a whole, Stanford is currently averaging 30.2 points per game (58th overall).
The Cardinal have looked pretty mediocre on the other side of the ball, allowing opponents to score an average of 24.7 points per game (48th overall). However, they have struggled badly against the pass so far this season, giving up 281.7 yards per game through the air (123rd overall).
Cal beat Colorado by double-digits last weekend to improve to 7-4 overall, scoring 21 unanswered points in the first quarter en route to a 33-21 victory. The Golden Bears let the Buffaloes get back within 6 points by the end of the 3rd quarter before shutting them out completely over the final fifteen minutes. QB Chase Garbers has been pretty average so far this year, throwing for only 1,221 and 13 touchdowns in eleven games. On the ground, RB Patrick Laird is averaging 77.1 rushing yards per game on 18 carries. Laird has also found the end zone nine times in eleven starts (five rushing, four receiving). Overall, Cal is currently averaging 23.6 points per game on 363.9 total yards of offense per game.
On the other side of the ball, the Golden Bears are currently giving up a respectable 21.1 points per game on 318.6 yards per game. The defense has really turned things around as of late, as they have limited opponents to an average of just 12.5 points over their last four games after giving up 32.3 points per game previously. Cal has been especially impressive against the pass, holding opponents to only 183.8 yards per game through the air (20th overall).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Stanford -2.5
I’ve taken Cal against the spread several times over the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been really impressed with how good they have played defensively. While I’m somewhat tempted to keep riding this wave of momentum, I don’t think this matchup looks great for them. Stanford has been much better on offense, as K.J. Costello is really firing on all cylinders right now. The Cardinal haven’t given up a lot of points per game, but they have had a tough time defending against the pass. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Golden Bears are really in a spot to take advantage of that weakness. Their strength on offense has been the play of RB Patrick Laird, who certainly won’t have an easy time finding room to run on Saturday night against an above average run defense.
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Stanford is a very impressive 9-4 ATS over their last 13 games overall. They are also 5-1 ATS in their last six road games and 5-1 ATS over their last six meetings with Cal on the road. The Golden Bears are just 1-3-1 ATS in their last five home games and 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Cardinal overall.
This game honestly could go either way, as Cal has been quite impressive as of late. I just feel more comfortable with Stanford in this matchup, as they have more weapons on offense and are giving up basically the same amount of points per game as the Golden Bears. The total point differential in terms of points scored – points allowed is around five, so the Cardinal at -2.5 may be a bit of a bargain. I’m laying the points and taking the road favorite to cover the number.