College Football Odds – (6) Oregon at California

(6) Oregon Ducks at California Golden Bears (+17, 78.5 o/u)

The Oregon Ducks (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) look poised to overcome a home loss to Arizona and claim a spot in the College Football Playoffs. After the loss to Arizona, the Ducks have rebounded with two impressive wins (over UCLA and Washington) and find themselves at No. 6 in the rankings (with an easier schedule than most other top ten teams down the stretch). But they know they can’t afford anything but wins the rest of the way, including this Friday when they take on the Cal Golden Bears (4-3, 2-3 Pac-12) at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California (10:00 p.m. Eastern).

Oregon Ducks at California Golden Bears (+17, 78.5 o/u)

The Oregon Ducks (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) look poised to overcome a home loss to Arizona and claim a spot in the College Football Playoffs. After the loss to Arizona, the Ducks have rebounded with two impressive wins (over UCLA and Washington) and find themselves at No. 6 in the rankings (with an easier schedule than most other top ten teams down the stretch). But they know they can’t afford anything but wins the rest of the way, including this Friday when they take on the Cal Golden Bears (4-3, 2-3 Pac-12) at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California (10:00 p.m. Eastern).

The Ducks’ downfall in the loss to Arizona was the offensive line, which couldn’t keep the pocket clean for Heisman frontrunner Marcus Mariota. Somewhat counterintuitively, the Ducks turned things around after the Arizona by relying on the run game. Two week ago against UCLA, the Ducks put up 258 yards on the ground en route to a 42-30 win. Last week against Washington, the Ducks put up another 218 in a 45-20 runaway.

It has been somewhat of a run-game-by-committee approach for the Ducks, this season, who have four players with over 200 rushing yards: Royce Freeman, Bryon Marshall, Thomas Tyner, and, of course, the fleet-footed Mariota.

“We need a committee,” Oregon’s head coach Mark Helfrich said. “For us, that committee’s good. But there are going to be things that happen in games, whether it’s game-plan related, readiness related, guys are going to have to carry the load differently.” Lately, Freeman has carried the bulk of the load, though. The Freshman has put up 121 and 169 yards against UCLA and Washington, respectively.

Cal (4-3, 2-3 Pac-12) comes into the game on the heels of two tough Pac-12 losses. Two weeks ago, the offense sputtered for the first time all year and the Golden Bears lost at home to Washington 31-7. Last week, the offense looked like its usual, potent self again, but Cal lost a shootout to UCLA 36-34. Quarterback Jared Goff looked to be marching his team down the field for the winning score late in the fourth quarter, but UCLA DB Marcus Rios made an acrobatic interception to seal the win for the Bruins.

“It was a tough game and a tough way to lose down the stretch,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. “There are some things we have to get better at as we move forward. It is a tough way to lose. We have got to give our guys credit for putting ourselves in a position to win it. We just came up a little bit short down the stretch.”

The Ducks are 17 point favorites at the moment. Recognizing the up-tempo, run-and-gun style of both team, the game total sits at an astronomical 78.5 points. California is 1-4 ATS in its last five games against Oregon.

(Photo credit: Bobak Ha’Eri [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)

Frank Lorenzo

MTS co-founder Frank “Let It Ride” Lorenzo has been betting on sports since he was legally allowed to do so. (Did he do so before then, too? No comment.) He enjoys very strong coffee, neon lights, and passing on his wealth of betting knowledge to anyone who will listen.