Cal feels it has a strong chance to go into Austin and win. Let’s review the betting odds & see if Berkeley can bag this opportunity and move to 3-0 on the season, halfway toward that bowl goal.
The California Golden Bears are very optimistic about their ability to get back to a bowl game this season. That process of getting to a bowl game again will depend in part on the ability to win games in which they’re favored, games they might not have been expected to win when they were originally scheduled by the athletic directors. An example is this Saturday’s game at Texas. The Bears probably didn’t think this was a realistic win opportunity when the game was created, but since the Longhorns are in such a mess right now, California feels confident.
The Golden Bears are full of hope as they make this road trip to Texas. Cal smothered San Diego State last Saturday, holding the Aztecs to seven points. San Diego State is a team many expect to win the Mountain West Conference’s West Division, so that’s a quality win for Cal and not just a win over a cream-puff kind of team. The Bears have an exciting quarterback in Jared Goff, and he gets a lot of the publicity on the team, but it’s the defense which has been making plays and snaring interceptions, and that’s why this team might be better than previous versions of the Golden Bears.
Texas did win over Rice last week, 42-28, but so many problems remain. The defense was supposed to be the strength of this team, but it has failed to hold opponents under 25 points in each of its first two games this season. There is so much youth and so much unproven talent on the roster that the Longhorns can’t be seen as a realistic Big 12 title contender. The offense was better against Rice, but the Longhorns didn’t run nearly as many plays as the Owls did, meaning that Texas might not have enough offensive rhythm coming into this game on Saturday.
The College Football Betting Odds have moved to minus-6.5 points for Cal, down from seven. There is surely a doubt about the Bears’ ability to hold their nerve on the road in a big stadium against a team that – however weak it might be – is still a big name in college football. Bettors might feel that Cal will get nervous as it tries to take the next step in its evolution.
California wide receiver Matt Rockett is questionable for this game with a knee injury. Defensive back Griffin Piatt is questionable with a knee injury as well. Wide receiver Jack Austin will miss this game with a foot injury. Linebacker Aisea Tongilava will miss the game with a toe injury.
Texas tight end Blake Whiteley is out indefinitely with an knee injury. Linebacker Dalton Santos is out for the season with an ankle injury.
Handicapping The Game
The Golden Bears might play a nervous first quarter, but Texas’ problems are so numerous, and the program is in such a state of distraction with the athletic director being fired on Tuesday, that Cal should be able to eventually settle down and become the better team in the second half. Take California as the savvy College Football Pick.
College Football Pick: California -6.5 at Bovada