Situational Trends Create a Pick for Ole Miss vs Cal

David Schwab

Saturday, September 16, 2017 2:43 AM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017 2:43 AM UTC

This Saturday’s college football betting action closes things out with the SEC’s Mississippi Rebels going on the road to face the Pac-12’s California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium in a 10:30 p.m. (ET) start on ESPN. Both teams are off to a perfect 2-0 straight-up start heading into this late kickoff out on the West Coast. 

Mississippi Rebels at California Golden Bears

Pointspread: Ole Miss -3.5

Total Line: 72

Ole Miss at Cal Game Overview

The Rebels opened the new season with a pair of lopsided victories against two Division IAA teams at home starting with a 47-27 romp over South Alabama as 22.5-point favorites followed by a 45-23 pasting of Tennessee-Martin as 33.5-point favorites last Saturday. They will now begin a stretch of three road games in a row after going 1-4 against the spread on the road last season. The total stayed UNDER in three of those five road games.

We know that Ole Miss can put points on the board behind Shea Patterson at quarterback. He has completed 76.9 percent of his first 78 passing attempts for 918 yards and nine touchdowns against just one interception. This is an offense that is predicated on moving the ball through the air in light of a ground game that has racked up a grand total of just 156 rushing yards on 47 carries through its first two games. AJ Brown has been the team’s leading receiver with 16 catches for 389 yards and four scores.

Cal opened the season with a stunning 35-30 upset on the road against North Carolina as a 13-point underdog. The total in that game went OVER the 57-point closing line after it had stayed UNDER in three of its final five games last season. Last week, the Golden Bears got past D-IAA Weber State 33-20, but they came nowhere close to covering as 25-point favorites at home. They are now 1-3 ATS in their last four home games.

This is another offense that prefers to move the ball through the air behind sophomore quarterback Ross Bowers. He has put the ball up 66 times in two games and his 44 completions have added up 563 yards and four touchdowns. Vic Wharton III has led the way with 10 receptions for 202 yards and a score, but Bowers has spread the ball around with 11 different players posting at least one catch on the year. Cal has gained 337 yards on the ground on 69 rushing attempts for an average of 4.9 yards a carry.

Ole Miss at Cal Game Betting Trends

--The Rebels have gone just 1-5 ATS in their last six nonconference games and they are 1-4 ATS in their last five games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has stayed UNDER in 21 of their last 28 road games.

--The Golden Bears are 11-23 ATS in their last 34 home games and they have failed to cover in their last five games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has gone OVER in 11 of their last 16 games.

--This will be the first meeting between these two teams.

Ole Miss at Cal Free NCAAF Pick

Both teams have racked up points in their first two games giving the slight edge to the OVER on the already inflated 72.5-point total line, but my top college football pick in this game is based on the Betting Lines at SBR odds. Cal covering the 3.5 points at home. The Golden Bears have already proven that they can win as underdogs and Ole Miss has yet to be tested by a FBS opponent.

Best Line Available is (-105) at Heritage

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