Left Coast Hidden Gem: Oregon's Herbert Dominant Last Year vs. Cal

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 11:57 AM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018 11:57 AM UTC

A Pac-12 matchup with huge implications takes place late Saturday night. NCAAF handicapper Mark Lathrop brings us the numbers that matter in the game between ranked Oregon and Cal.

<p style="text-align:right"><em><strong>2018 NCAAF Record: 14-8, +9.56u</strong></em><br /><em><strong>*Note: Record includes official Twitter selections (@mlathrop3)</strong></em></p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/college-football/oregon-ducks-vs-california-golden-bears-3448890/odds/" title="Game Odds"><strong>No. 19 Oregon (3-1 SU) at No. 24 California (3-0 SU)</strong></a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Free NCAAF Pick: Oregon -3</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4395&amp;book=5dimes" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">5Dimes</a></strong></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3448890, "sportsbooksIds":[19,1275,169,1096,1252], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>This game between ranked teams on the West Coast might not be so "hidden," as the title of this article suggests, but the late start time for East Coast fans might have some people looking past this matchup. The Ducks have been underperforming the markets of late as well with three straight ATS losses, while Cal has been silent due to their bye week last week.</p><p>The Golden Bears are in the second year of offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin’s tenure as he got snatched up from a very successful run at Eastern Washington University. I had the pleasure of watching that offense quite often as it is my alma mater, and the pass heavy attack was stellar in spots. Cal returns a ton of starters from last year’s team on that side of the ball but what they didn’t do was keep the same quarterback. Sophomore Chase Garbers won the job out of camp and has put up a respectable 68.2% completion percentage and 149.3 QB rating through three games. Their total yardage numbers are on the low side, however, averaging 386 yards per game against Oregon’s 508 yards per game.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Ducks are 7-1 against Cal in their last eight games. Who ya got this week? &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/TuesdayTrivia?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#TuesdayTrivia&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoDucks?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#GoDucks&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/2KrqiOkpM6\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/2KrqiOkpM6&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/oregonfootball/status/1044630071288320000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;September 25, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>Most of Oregon’s yardage has come through the air, and why not with NFL prospect Justin Herbert under center. Herbert is averaging 296.5 yards per game this year with 13 touchdowns. That’s good for a 179.4 QB rating. I guarantee that Cal hasn’t seen a quarterback of this caliber on the year. Herbert has some unfinished business at Cal too, as the was knocked out of last year’s 45-24 Oregon win after going 7-for-8 passing with a touchdown and adding a touchdown run. Oregon leaned on the running game with Herbert out and dominated in that phase of the game.</p><p>The line here has snapped toward the Golden Bears after opening at 5.5 favoring the Ducks. It can now be found at a field goal across the board. <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/college-football/" title="Live NCAAF Odds">The total line has also dropped from 61 to 58</a>, possibly as a factor of Cal’s defense putting up good numbers. The Golden Bears' passing defense also appears to be a strength that will match up with Herbert, although that wasn’t the case last year before he left with injury. As is the case with most games that appear to be a toss-up on paper, I will side with the best quarterback. That is far and away Justin Herbert here, so with my <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/college-football/" title="Free NCAAF Picks">NCAAF picks</a> I will lay the 3 points and take Oregon on the road to get right before their bye week.</p>
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