On Saturday, we will be treated to another exciting Pac-12 battle as the angry #19 Oregon Ducks migrate south to Berkeley, CA, and take on the #24 California Golden Bears. This Top 25 battle will set one team back in the conference, but keep the winner in close contention with Stanford and Washington for Pac-12 supremacy. Kickoff inside California Memorial Stadium is at 10:30 PM ET.
|Betting Data||Oregon Ducks||Cal Golden Bears|
|Current S/U record||3-1||3-0|
|2018 ATS Home||0-4||0-1-1|
|2018 ATS Away||0-0||1-0|
|2018 O/U Home||2-2||0-1|
|2018 O/U Away||0-0||0-1|
Saturday’s Pac-12 battle by the bay will be the 82nd time these conference foes have squared off. Cal holds the slight advantage at 41-38-2. However, Oregon has dominated this series since 2009 as they’ve gone 8-1. Cal did nip Oregon the last time they played in Berkeley (2016) by a score of 52-49.
Oregon (3-1) is coming off a tough loss to Stanford where they led for most of the game before stumbling in Overtime. The Ducks are quite frustrated over that loss and look to take out their aggressions on a conference opponent that they’re used to beating. Can Oregon keep their high octane offense rolling along on the road or will they stumble again?
Cal (3-0) has the good fortunes of coming off a bye week, which has given the Golden Bears two weeks to prepare for Oregon. Cal has already tallied 2 wins at home. The biggest win they have on their 2018 resume was a Week 2 victory over BYU in Utah. Will Cal be able to add another big win this weekend?
The spread opened with Oregon favored by 3 points. Currently, most online sportsbooks still have them favored by 3. The Over/Under opened at 59 total points and still remains unchanged with most online sites. With such a small spread, the moneylines are in play due to the reasonable odds.
As mentioned, Oregon ended up letting Stanford get back into the game and winning in Overtime. Oregon had a 24-7 lead at halftime and was up 31-21 with a little more than 4:30 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, they were unable to prevent Stanford from scoring. Additionally, Oregon turned the ball over 3 times, which allowed Stanford to get back into the game.
Despite having two costly turnovers, Oregon QB Justin Herbert shredded one of the conference’s top defenses as he went 26-of-33 for 346 yards, 1 TD, and 1 Int. Herbert also added 35 yards on the ground. Cal is giving up 302.3 total ypg and 19.3 ppg. However, they have not faced an offense like Oregon yet. Cal had the luxury of playing against Idaho State, BYU, and UNC. Those 3 offenses aren’t half as good as Oregon.
Cal’s offense averages 30 ppg, but a good amount of that was accumulated during their 45-23 beating of Idaho State. Against BYU and UNC, Cal averaged 22.5 ppg and I think that’s about what they will score in this contest. I don’t expect Cal to be able to hang with Oregon if this turns into a shootout. Additionally, the Ducks showed an improved defense against Stanford last weekend as they held the nation’s top RB Bryce Love to 89 rushing yards and Stanford to 71 total yards on the ground.
Up until the 4th quarter, Oregon’s defense had kept Stanford in check and put pressure on KJ Costello all game long. Cal’s QB Garbers has had some success this season after taking over the job. Currently, he has 449 yards, 6 TDs and 2 INTs. However, I don’t believe that Garbers is as good as Costello. Cal’s RB Laird has surprisingly struggled this season with only 144 yards and 1 TD. He was supposed to compete with Love for the best Pac-12 RB this year. If Laird does not produce on Saturday, then Cal will be in trouble.
Oregon has abysmal ATS numbers over the last few seasons. Despite looking like an improved team with a Heisman Trophy candidate at QB, they are 1-4 ATS as a road favorite, 6-13 ATS in their last 19 against Pac-12 opponents, and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games. The ATS numbers don’t get any better.
For Cal, they’re 9-4 ATS at home, 2-0 ATS after a Bye Week, and 4-0 ATS when the line is -3 to +3. In other words, Cal has done a lot better than Oregon against the spread. And I think there is a chance that they keep this game close.
With that said, Cal has been the one team that Oregon’s done well against in regards to the spread and SU. They’re 6-1 ATS in their last 7 against Cal and the Favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 head-to-head meetings. However, the home team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 matchups.
As much as I would like to take the Oregon point spread, I feel that the Ducks’ moneyline is the safe play here. The -155 odds is appealing and allows us to avoid the spread woes that Oregon is in the midst of. The Ducks are 8-2 SU against Cal in the last 10 and have outscored the Golden Bears by an average of 42.7 ppg to 23.5 ppg during that span.
Take the Oregon Ducks -155 moneyline in this one.
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