Pac 12 Betting Preview: #3 Oregon Ducks at California Golden Bears

#3 Oregon Ducks at California Golden Bears
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 10:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Memorial Stadium – Berkeley, California
Opening Line: Oregon -27
Current Line: Oregon -28 1/2
Opening Total: 67 1/2
Current Total: 66
Opening Money Line: Oregon -5000 / Cal +2500
Current Money Line: Oregon -5000 / Cal +2500

Oregon looks to remain undefeated as they travel to a Cal team decimated by injuries. The Ducks are 28.5 point road favorites.

For the 9-0 Oregon Ducks, this game means everything, because they are locked in in a tight battle for two spots in the BCS Championship with 3 other undefeated teams, Alabama, Kansas St, and Notre Dame. For 3-7 California, losers of three straight, this game means next to nothing, except for maybe the chance to play spoiler. This is the 75th meeting between the schools. Cal leads the series 39-33-2, including 26-15-2 in Berekeley. Oregon has won 3 in a row against Cal and 11 of the last 15. Oregon won 43-15 last year in Eugene.

Oregon is 6-0 in Pac 12 play under coach Chip Kelly. Oregon leads the Pac 12 North division by a game over Oregon St and Stanford, but the Ducks haven’t played either team yet. The Ducks have won every game by at least 11 points. They have home wins over Arkansas St 57-34, Fresno St 42-25, Tennessee Tech 63-14, Arizona 49-0, Washington 52-21, and against Colorado 70-14 along with road wins against Washington St 51-26 in Seattle, 43-21 at Arizona St and last week at USC 62-51. The Ducks are 5-4 ATS and the total is 5-3 this season. Oregon covered the 8 point spread last week against USC and nearly went over the 72 point total by themselves.

Oregon is averaging 561.2 yards per game, including 220 passing yards and 341.2 rushing yards per game. The Ducks are #4 in total offense and #2 in rushing nationally. Oregon is outscoring teams 54-23 this season. The Ducks are #1 in scoring nationally. Oregon is +8 in turnovers, but the Ducks do have 18 turnovers this season. Oregon is averaging 72 penalty yards per game . The Ducks have allowed 13 sacks. Oregon is 82/152 on third and fourth down conversions and 50/55 scoring in the red zone with 46 touchdowns. On defense, Oregon is allowing 380.8 yards per game including 243.7 passing yards and 137.1 rushing yards. The Ducks have forced 24 sacks and 26 turnovers this season. Oregon opponents are 52/162 on third and fourth down conversions, and 22/38 scoring in the red zone with 16 touchdowns. The Ducks have returned 4 interceptions for touchdowns this season, and also have a punt return for a TD.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has completed 153 of 217 passes (70.5%) for 1,787 yards with 22 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Mariota has also rushed 72 times for 474 yards with 3 touchdowns. He has been sacked 12 times. Mariota even has a touchdown catch. Back-up Bryan Bennett has thrown for 193 yards, with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He also has 166 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns. Running back Kenjon Barner has 179 carries for 1,295 yards and 19 touchdowns, along with 15 catches, 184 yards, and a touchdown. He moved to near the top of the Heisman race with his scintillating 325 rushing yards and 5 touchdown performance against USC. De’Anthony Thomas has 61 carries, 508 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also leads the Ducks in receiving with 29 catches for  277 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also returns kicks and punts, and has 1,161 all-purpose yards with a punt return touchdown. Byron Marshall has 71 carries, 374 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Josh Huff has 15 catches, 246 and 4 touchdowns.  Bralon Addison has 19 catches, 226 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Tight end Colt Lyerla  has 13 catches, 202 yards, and 4 touchdowns, along with 13 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown.  Keanon Lowe has 15 catches, 173 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Aside from the running backs, Dwayne Stanford and Daryle Hawkins will also get a lot of targets. Hawkins has two touchdown catches. Five Oregon defenders are questionable or out.

Cal is 2-5 in the Pac 12 under coach Jeff Tedford who will likely be fired at the end of the season. Cal has home losses to Nevada 31-24, Arizona St 27-17, Stanford 21-3 and last week against Washington 21-13 along with road losses at Ohio St 35-28 , USC 27-9, and at Utah 49-27. The Golden Bears have home wins over Southern Utah 50-31 and UCLA 43-17, along with a 31-17 win at Washington St. Cal is 3-7 ATS and the total is 3-6 this season. The Bears were 4 point favorites against Washington and the total was 51.

California is averaging 402.6 yards per game on offense, including 225.8 passing and 176.8 rushing yards. The Golden Bears are being outscored 28-25 this season.  Cal is -1 in turnovers, and  they have 23 turnovers. The Bears have allowed 39 sacks this season, and are averaging 74 penalty yards per game. Cal is 52/146 on third and fourth down conversions and 25/33 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns. On defense, Cal is allowing 416 yards per game, including 250.7 passing yards and 165.3 rushing yards. Cal is #87 against the pass and #75 in total defense nationally.  The Bears have forced 22 turnovers and 26 sacks this season. Cal opponents are 75/171 on third and fourth down conversions and 32/43 scoring in the red zone with 26 touchdowns.

Cal quarterback Zach Maynard has completed 180 of 296 passes (60.8%) for 2,214 yards with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also has 3 rushing touchdowns, but has been sacked 39 times. Maynard injured his leg in last week’s Washington game, and aggravated the injury in Tuesday’s practice. Maynard was carted off the field in that practice and is listed as doubtful. If Maynard doesn’t go, junior back-up Allen Bridgford will get the start. He has thrown only 16 passes this year and completed 4 with no touchdowns or interceptions

Cal running back C.J. Anderson has 104 carries, 673 yards and and 4 touchdowns, along with 13 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. Isi Sofele has 113 carries, 519 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 64 yards Brendan Bigelow has 32 carries, 393 yards, and 3 touchdowns, along with 7 catches, 92 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Keenan Allen has 61 catches, 737 yards, and 6 touchdowns, along with 3 carries, 39 yards and a touchdown.  Allen also has a punt return for a touchdown. Allen is out with a knee injury, after missing last week’s game.  Chris Harper has 36 catches, 481 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Bryce Treggs is doubtful with an ankle injury. Treggs has 21 catches, 216 yards and a touchdown. Richard Rodgers has 16 catches, 267 yards, and a touchdowns. Without Allen and Treggs, other than the running backs no other receiver has more than 8 catches. The Golden Bear defense has been decimated by injury with 12 players  listed as questionable or out Saturday night.

Oregon is 4-0 ATS after scoring more than 40 points, in Pac 12 games, after a straight up win, in road games against teams with losing home records, after rushing for 200 yards or more, after allowing more than 450 yards, and overall, 6-0 on grass, 6-1 in road games, 7-2 after allowing more than 40 points, 24-8-2 against teams with losing records, 3-1-1 in November, 1-3-1 after allowing 280 passing yards or more, and 1-4-1 after passing for over 280 yards. The last 5 games in this series have gone under the total.

California is 4-1 ATS at home against a team with a winning road record, and in November, 2-5 in Pac 12 games, 3-8 overall, 1-5 after a straight up loss, 1-5 at home, and 1-7 on grass. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 in the last 4 in this series.

You have the undefeated Oregon Ducks with one of the nation’s most explosive offenses traveling to a terrible Cal team playing for a likely lame duck coach. To top it off, Cal’s defense is seriously banged up, and the Golden Bears will be without arguably their two best offensive players in Maynard and Allen. It all points to Oregon just destroying Cal, right? Well, Oregon certainly could do just that if they wanted. However, Oregon has shown a tendency to get huge leads in the first half and then take their foot off the gas in the second half. Last week against USC was the first time all season Oregon’s starters played in the fourth quarter. I just think Cal hangs around the huge number at home and gets a back door cover with a late garbage touchdown.

Get this week’s college fotoball picks now. It isn’t too late to get picks for the rest of the season.


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