The California Golden Bears (4-3) travel to Salt Lake City this weekend for a PAC 12 clash with the #12 overall Utah Utes (6-1). Kickoff is set for 10:00 PM EST on October 26th at Rice-Eccles Stadium and the game will be broadcast on FS1.
Taking a look at the Week 9 college football odds, Utah opened as a 19.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That spread has increased by a full point after early betting, as the Utes are currently listed at -20.5. The total for the game is sitting at 37.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Utah vs Cal
Cal lost their third game in a row last weekend, falling 21-17 at home against Oregon State to drop to 4-3 overall on the season. The Golden Bears held a 17-14 lead in the third quarter but couldn’t find a way to hold on down the stretch, giving up seven unanswered points over the final 15 minutes. QB Devon Modster had a rough outing through the air, going 12/27 for 151 rushing yards and a touchdown. However, Modster did add 76 rushing yards on 19 carries on the ground. WR Jordan Duncan scored the only receiving touchdown of the game for Cal, finding the end zone on one of his three catches for 49 yards. As a whole, the offense gained almost 300 total yards and scored two touchdowns in the loss.
The Golden Bears had an average outing on the other side of the ball against Oregon State, giving up just under 300 total yards of offense and three touchdowns. Despite not allowing more than 40 yards to any single Beavers receiver, California did still surrender two touchdowns through the air.
Utah won their third straight game last weekend, beating #24 overall Arizona State 21-3 at home to move to 6-1 on the season overall. The Utes scored 14 unanswered points in the second quarter and never looked back, giving up just a field goal the entire game. QB Tyler Huntley had a poor outing through the air, going 12/19 for 171 yards and no touchdowns while also getting picked off once. RB Zack Moss played extremely well, rushing for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns on a team-high 25 carries. Moss also led the way for the receiving corps, gaining 78 yards on just three receptions. Overall, Utah generated well over 300 total yards of offense and scored three touchdowns in the victory.
The Utes were fantastic defensively against Arizona State, holding the Sun Devils to under 150 total yards of offense and giving up just three points all game. Utah was especially solid against the pass, surrendering only 25 yards through the air and forcing one interception.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: OVER 37.5
These two PAC 12 rivals appear to be heading in different directions after identical 3-0 starts to the season, as Cal has now lost three out of their last four games while Utah currently sits atop the South division standings with a very solid 6-1 record overall. While I think that the Utes should have no problem winning this game outright at home, laying almost three touchdowns in this matchup doesn’t exactly scream value. The Golden Bears have battled hard in recent weeks despite experiencing a bit of a slump, losing by just ten points to #11 overall Oregon while also staying within a touchdown of #24 overall Arizona State.
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I think that the best play in this particular spot is likely the OVER on 37.5 total points scored, as Utah has scored at least three touchdowns in seven consecutive games. While California certainly isn’t a dynamic offensive team, they have still reached double-digit scoring totals in six out of their last seven games overall. I’m definitely not expecting this PAC 12 clash to turn into anything that even slightly resembles a shootout, but I am still fairly confident that these programs should combine for over 37.5 points here in Week 9. I’ll avoid both teams against the spread in favor of the OVER on 37.5.