Pac 12 Betting Picks: California Golden Bears at Oregon Ducks

California Golden Bears at Oregon Ducks
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 10:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Autzen Stadium – Eugene, Oregon
Opening Line: Oregon -6
Current Line: Oregon -3 1/2 (-105)
Opening Total: 74
Current Total: 73 1/2
Opening Money Line: Oregon -200 / California +170
Current Money Line: Oregon -170 / California +150

Oregon is favored against Cal in a battle of 5-3 teams.
Oregon is favored against Cal in a battle of 5-3 teams.

Both the  Oregon Ducks and California Golden Bears are 5-3 this season and can become bowl eligible with one more win. The two teams meet Saturday in Eugene. The Ducks are tied for second in the Pac 12 North with Washington State at 3-2 behind 6-0 Stanford. The Golden Bears are tied with Washington at 2-3.

California leads the series 39-36-2 against Oregon in a series that dates back to 1899. Oregon has won six straight games in the series including 59-41 last season in Santa Clara, CA.

California is coached by Sonny Dykes. The Golden Bears have lost two straight games at Utah 30-24, UCLA 40-24 and last week against USC 27-21 at home. Cal has home wins over Grambling 73-14, San Diego State 35-7 and Washington State 34-28. The Golden Bears have road wins at Texas 45-44 and Washington 30-24.

The Golden Bears were 4.5 point underdogs against USC and the total was 69. Cal took an early 7-0 lead, but the Trojans would score 24 unanswered points. USC would take a 27-14 lead into the fourth. Cal scored with 3:52 left to make it 27-21. The Bears kicked off deep to USC instead of trying the onside kick, and the Trojans would run out the clock. The Golden Bears were unable to overcome three turnovers. Cal is 4-4 ATS and the total is 2-6 this season.

Oregon is coached by Mark Helfrich. The Ducks have a road loss at Michigan State 31-28, plus home losses to Utah 62-20 and Washington State 45-38. Oregon has home wins over Eastern Washington 61-42 and Georgia State 61-28, along with road wins at Colorado 41-24, Washington 26-20, and last week at Arizona State 61-55 in triple overtime.

Oregon was a 2.5 point underdog against Arizona State and the total was 65. The game was back and forth. Arizona State led by eleven in the third quarter, but the Ducks would take a 34-31 lead into the fourth. The Sun Devils scored 10 straight points in the fourth  to take a 41-34 lead. Oregon scored with 12 seconds left to send the game into overtime. The teams traded touchdowns in the first two overtimes. Oregon scored in the third overtime but missed the two point conversion. Arizona State threw an interception in the end zone to end the game. The Ducks had 501 total yards while the Sun Devils had 742 total yards.

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Cal is outscoring teams 36-27 this season. California is #31 in scoring nationally.  The Golden Bears average 490 yards per game on offense, including 337 passing and 153 rushing. Cal is #18 in total offense,  #11 in passing and #91 in rushing out of 128 teams. California is allowing 418 total yards per game on defense, including 255 passing and 164 rushing yards. Cal is #98 in pass defense. The Bears have forced 22 turnovers and have 19 of their own. Cal averages 37 penalty yards per game and opponents average 68 yards per game.  The Golden Bears are 57/129 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 54/132. Cal has forced 22 sacks and allowed 20 of their own. The Bears are 35/40 scoring in the red zone with 28 touchdowns. Opponents are 25/26 with 17 touchdowns. The Golden Bears have two pick sixes and a fumble return for a touchdown this season.

Quarterback Jared Goff has completed 66.3% of his passes for 2,537 yards with 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Back-up Chase Forrest has thrown for 162 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Running back Khalfani Muhammad has 62 carries for 459 yards and a touchdown, plus 13 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. Vic Enwere has 68 carries for 310 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 6 catches. Daniel Lasco has 53 carries for 242 yards with 3 touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 24 yards.  Tre Watson has 37 carries for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 2 catches for 27 yards.

Receiver Kenny Lawler has 42 catches for 527 yards and 9 touchdowns. Trevor Davis has 21 catches for 398 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bryce Treggs has 24 catches for 381 yards and 3 touchdowns. Stephen Anderson has 31 catches for 373 yards and a touchdown. Darius Powe has 27 catches for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns. Maurice Harris has 20 catches for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns. Four defensive players are on the injury report.

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Oregon is outscoring teams 42-38. The Ducks are #9 in scoring but #119 in points allowed. Oregon is averaging 514 total yards including 231 passing and 284 rushing yards. The Ducks are in the top 12 nationally in rushing and total offense. Oregon is allowing 497 yards per game on offense including 318 passing and 179 rushing yards. The Ducks are #117 or worse in total and pass defense. Oregon has forced 15 turnovers and has 11 of their own. The Ducks average 62 penalty yards per game and opponents average 49. Oregon is 55/137 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 64/140. The Ducks have forced 26 sacks and allowed 24 this season. Oregon is 36/42 scoring in the red zone with 27 touchdowns and opponents are 38/42 with 31 touchdowns. Oregon has 4 defensive / special teams touchdowns.

Quarterback Vernon Adams, Jr. has missed three games with various injuries. Adams has thrown for 1,168 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions and rushed for 102 yards on 52 carries with a touchdown. Jeff Lockie started in place of Adams. He has thrown for 554 yards with 5 touchdowns and four interceptions, plus 31 carries for 109 yards.Taylor Alie has thrown for 96 yards with a touchdown, and has 10 carries for 142 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Quarterback Travis Jonsen is out for the season for undisclosed reasons.

Running back Royce Freeman has 165 carries  for 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns, along with 18 catches for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns. Taj Griffin has 49 carries for 374 yards with 2 touchdowns. He is questionable Saturday. Kani Benoit has 32 carries for 214 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tony Brooks-James has 22 carries for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also has 5 catches for 20 yards.  Thomas Tyner is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

Receiver Bralon Addison has 37 catches for 354 yards and 4 touchdowns. Dwayne Stanford has 13 catches for 241 yards and 3 touchdowns. Charles Nelson has 12 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown. Byron Marshall has 9 catches for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He is out for the season with a knee injury. Tight end Pharoah Brown is out indefinitely with a leg injury.

California is 7-2 ATS in road games, 5-2 after failing to cover, and against teams with winning home records, 17-36 after a straight up loss, 9-19 in Pac 12 games, and 3-8 in November. The under is 6-2 overall in this series and the last 7 games in Eugene between the teams have gone under the total.

Oregon is 4-0 ATS in November, 11-2 in Pac 12 games, 4-1 after allowing more than 40 points and 200 rushing yards, 10-3 after a straight up win, 9-3 after scoring 40 points or more, 6-2 after allowing 280 passing yards or more, 19-7 after a cover, 24-9 against teams with winning records, 13-5 overall, 7-3 after allowing more than 450 total yards, 1-5 on fieldturf, and 0-5 at home. The favorite has covered the last four games in this series, and the home team is 5-2 ATS recently. The Ducks are 4-0 ATS overall against the Golden Bears and 5-1 ATS in Eugene in the series.

Both of these teams struggle on defense so this should be a high scoring game. Oregon has already lost two home games, and I don’t see them losing a third. I like the Ducks in a close game.

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