Auburn vs Cal Odds & Prediction: Expect Plenty of Points
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaydn Ott (Cal)
Auburn vs Cal Odds
After big wins in Week 1, the Auburn Tigers and Cal Golden Bears both appear to be much better than they were last season.
Auburn began the Hugh Freeze era by blowing out UMass, 59-14, while Cal impressed with a 58-21 road win over North Texas. Both programs reshaped their rosters via the transfer portal and those portal additions paid off for last Saturday.
Even though neither new-look squad showed much rust, the competition gets much tougher for both teams when they meet in Berkeley.
It's time to take a deeper look at the Auburn vs. Cal odds.
The Tigers looked like a SEC bully in their victory over UMass, so much so that we barely got to see Payton Thorne in action. The transfer quarterback from Michigan State only threw for 141 yards and a touchdown as Auburn ran the ball for 6.6 yards per carry against the overmatched Minutemen.
Backup quarterback Robby Ashford stole the show with three rushing touchdowns in the first half. Ashford is regularly featured in designed quarterback runs and ran for 710 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Ashford's legs are particularly deadly in the red zone, so Cal better be prepared for him in those situations.
Freeze's specialty is offense, but there were no concerning signs about the Tigers' defense. UMass scored a touchdown on its opening drive, but Auburn shut down the Minutemen for the rest of the game with four sacks, a forced fumble and a pick-six.
The Tigers gave up some yards here and there, but never let UMass get in a rhythm.
It remains to be seen how Auburn will fare against a Power Five foe, but there were plenty of good vibes in Week 1.
It appears the Jake Spavital hire was a hit at Cal. The Golden Bears' new offensive coordinator guided the offense to 58 points in the opener, despite starting quarterback Sam Jackson V leaving the game with an upper-body injury in the second quarter.
No Jackson, no problem.
Backup quarterback Ben Finley passed for 289 yards, one touchdown and a pick. Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said Jackson was day-to-day in practice this week, so it looks like either one could be starting. If Jackson can't go, Finley is a great second option.
Jaydn Ott is the star of the Golden Bears' offense. The stocky running back is the focal point of Cal's rushing attack and picked up right where he left off last year with 178 rushing yards and two touchdowns against North Texas.
Isaiah Ifanse and Ashton Stredick supplemented Ott by combining for 105 yards and four scores in the win.
Additionally, the Golden Bears' defense pitched a second-half shutout and had two interceptions in the final 30 minutes to secure the blowout win.
Auburn vs Cal
Betting Pick & Prediction
Auburn is favored by 6.5 points at most sportsbooks, but that's not where I'm going with this pick. Although I think the Tigers are probably the better team, there's something strange about a big-time SEC program playing Cal in a half-full stadium.
This game just screams weirdness.
Instead, I'm betting the over at 54.5 points. Both of these teams almost dropped 60 points last weekend, and although that was against lesser competition, it showed that they've made significant offensive improvements under new coaching staffs.
Plus, Freeze clearly saved some of his more creative passing plays, as Thorne only threw it 17 times. Expect to see some well-designed plays in Auburn's passing game, while Spavital schemes it up for the Golden Bears.
Cal appears to be more than competent on offense, and the Tigers should also be able to score, so bet the over in this off-the-wall, non-conference matchup.