College Football Picks: Oregon -5 vs. Cali Weak Offensive Affair

David Lawrence

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 4:27 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 4:27 PM UTC

The California Golden Bears and the Oregon Ducks both had such brighter views of this season in September. They've fallen on hard times and now we analyze the college football odds for their game.

The Golden Bears might have come close against USC last week, but they were playing at home, and they were facing a team which is led by an interim coach. More to the point, it’s not as though USC’s very talented offense played well or that Cal’s maligned defense played that poorly. Early in the season, if you had said that Cal would give up only 27 points to USC, the Golden Bears would have taken that, since their offense was so hard to stop in September. However, in October, their offense has come crashing down to earth. Quarterback Jared Goff looked like a top-five NFL draft pick in September, but in October, he committed a lot of turnovers and did not do a good job of standing in under pressure and throwing accurate balls when getting hit. California’s offense is failing to score in the 30s on a regular basis. The team’s passing game has become fragmented and frail. It’s a time to be concerned, especially since the Golden Bears have lost consecutive games to the Los Angeles schools, USC and (previously) UCLA.

Oregon is coming off a win against Arizona State, but it was a narrow one, and it wouldn’t have happened if the Ducks and quarterback Vernon Adams hadn’t completed a low-percentage fling into the end zone in the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter. There are major problems on defense, and even the offense is trying to find more of an identity. Neither team should feel comfortable about where it is.


Line Moves
The college football odds started with Oregon as a six-point choice, and that line has moved down to five points. Bettors are probably showing displeasure with Oregon instead of thinking Cal is in good position to pull off the upset. Cal is not moving up, but Oregon is moving down despite the win.


Notable Injuries
California has linebacker Michael Barton listed as questionable for this game with a knee injury. Linebacker Aisea Tongilava is out indefinitely with a toe injury. Cornerback Jaylinn Hawkins is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

Oregon has defensive back Chris Seisay out indefinitely with a foot injury. Wide receiver Byron Marshall is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Backup quarterback Travis Jonsen is out for the season with an undisclosed condition. Receiver Darren Carrington has returned from a suspension – he is playing.


Handicapping The Game
Oregon very nearly won at Michigan State on a night when its quarterback was not playing with a fully healthy hand. California won at Texas and was developing momentum at that point of the season. Since then, just about everything has gone downhill for these two teams. The Golden Bears have gotten worn down and have not been able to show a lot of resilience on either offense or defense. They have flinched and cowered when punched in the mouth. Oregon has become a team with no real identity. The team is capable of making big plays, but those big plays coexist with an irritating tendency to then go three-and-out on the next series. The Ducks have an all-or-nothing offense, and there’s really not much in the middle. These teams both have to answer a lot of questions in the final month of the season, and this marks an important intersection for each group.

The Bears have a structurally damaged offense. Oregon’s offense is merely flawed. Take the flawed offense over the damaged offense. That’s Oregon, so take them with your college football picks.

Free College Football Pick: Oregon -5 at BetOnline

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