Stanford vs. Cal Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide

Stanford vs. Cal Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide article feature image

Pictured: California Golden Bears forward Grant Newell (14). (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

  • Cal, one of the worst teams in college basketball, hosts Stanford on Friday night.
  • Stanford, while better than Cal, isn't exactly an elite squad either.
  • D.J. James digs into this Pac-12 matchup and offers up a betting pick below.

Stanford vs. Cal Odds

Friday, Jan. 6
9 p.m. ET
Stanford Odds
-110o / -110u
Cal Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The California Golden Bears are one of the worst power-five teams in the country. However, they get to host the Stanford Cardinal, who aren't much to write home about either, on Friday night. This is truly a bottom-of-the-barrel matchup in the PAC-12. However, Cal registered a quality win over Colorado in its last game, which brought the Golden Bears to an astounding 2-13 on the season.

There is not much of an angle on the spread in this one with Cal playing host, but both of these teams run at an exceptionally slow pace. Stanford ranks 238th in Adjusted Tempo, while Cal ranks 358th. With that being the case, especially since neither stands out offensively, this game should go under the total.

Stanford Cardinal

Stanford may have the offensive edge in this one, but that is not what this team touts. The Cardinal rank 287th in three-point percentage (30.8%). They are somewhat decent in two-point range (52.3%) and manufacture 18.6% of their total point distribution from the free-throw line.

They spread the wealth offensively. That said, Stanford ranks 93rd in three-point attempt percentage. The Cardinal essentially play to what is working well for them. None of their starters shoot above 30% from deep, a concern both in this game and going forward.

Cal, shockingly defends the arc well, holding the opposition to 30.2%, which ranks 55th in college basketball. There are very few metrics this team performs well in, and this is one of them. Stanford launches many unnecessary threes, but the Golden Bears should be able to hold them in check.

Now, if the Cardinal can deviate from the three-point line, Cal allows opponents to shoot 51.3% on twos and sends opponents to the free throw line the 203rd-most in college basketball.

Photo by CBB Analytics

To Stanford’s defense, it has had the 41st-hardest schedule in the country. The only problem is the Cardinals haven't beaten a team ranked higher than 165th, per KenPom. Luckily for them, Cal ranks 231.

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Cal Golden Bears

Cal does have some major issues with turnovers. The Golden Bears turn the ball over 22.2% of the time and don't make up for it defensively — only turning opponents over 16.5% of the time. Stanford also has offensive turnover issues (20.6%), but is able to turn over opponents nearly 21% of the time. All those turnovers could cause some concern for under backers.

Cal also knows its own strengths. The Golden Bears shoot a collective 27.5% from three-point range, but rank 316th in three-point attempt percentage. Unlike Stanford, Cal gets the ball inside or tries draw contact on a shot. This is another area where Cal performs well — it gets to the line. Stanford is about average when it comes to sending opponents to the line. Cal draws fouls a little more than average, but it should not happen all too much.

Photo by CBB Analytics

Stanford vs. Cal Betting Pick

The driving point for this game is how poor these teams shoot. Both have an eFG% less than 50%, which is below average compared to the entire NCAA. Stanford clearly doesn't play to its strengths, and Cal can only score so many points from the free throw line. Cal should limit Stanford’s usual rain from three, but may struggle inside.

Lastly, Stanford occupies 17.9 seconds per possession on offense. California is even slower at 19.5 seconds per possession. Unless the fouling gets out of hand, this game should go under. There won't be many possessions, especially if Cal can prevent itself from coughing up the ball on offense. Take this under from 124 (-110), and play it to 122 (-110).

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