TCU vs. California Betting Odds, Picks: Your Betting Guide for Week 2’s Showdown (September 11)

TCU vs. California Betting Odds, Picks: Your Betting Guide for Week 2’s Showdown (September 11) article feature image

Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Chase Garbers.

TCU vs. California Odds

Saturday, Sept. 11
3:30 p.m. ET
TCU Odds
-120o / -110u
California Odds
-120o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

This Saturday we get a rematch of the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl, which was either an incredible game or one of the ugliest ever depending on what you bet in that 10-7 TCU overtime win.

This matchup will certainly be different from that meeting, but if you want to relive it, here you go:

Cal @ TCU this weekend

A rematch of the greatest game ever played: 2018 Cheez-It Bowl.


— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 6, 2021

These two programs kicked off 2021 going in opposite directions.

The Golden Bears are looking to rebound off an upset loss, while the Horned Frogs are looking to roll again and take another step toward their Big 12 Title aspirations.

TCU Horned Frogs

Gary Patterson began his 21st season with a 45-3 thrashing of Duquesne. The Horned Frogs showed what their team is all about in week one and should be raring to go against the Golden Bears

Horned Frogs Offense

Sophomore Max Duggan is the X-factor in this TCU offense. He is a true dual-threat – in 2019 he was also the team's leading rusher. He also compiled just as many rushing touchdowns as he did passing touchdowns.

Though in the season opener he showed much more passing prowess. He went 14 of 19 in the first half and topped it off with a 16-yard touchdown pass.

We should see the TCU offense on full display this week. Duggan and his corps of speedy receivers look to be an explosive combination that everyone should take notice of.

Horned Frogs Defense

If there is one thing Gary Patterson knows it's defense. Last season they were one of the best units in the nation as they ranked fourth in rushing success rate and seventh in passing success rate.

This year's unit returns eight starters who will look to improve on last season's impressive totals. Led by the second-best defensive line and secondary in the Big 12 conference, there are a great deal of problems presented to any opposing offense.

The must-have app for college football bettors

The best NCAAF betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

California Golden Bears

Justin Wilcox's squad faced a bigger challenge than many might have thought in their opening matchup with Nevada. The Bears showed what their identity should be early on, but then strayed away from it. Cal will need to play to their strengths if they want to keep up on Saturday.

Bears Offense

The Golden Bears could not have asked for a better start against Nevada. They absolutely dominated on the ground in the first quarter. Cal possessed the ball for nearly the entire quarter as their line bullied the smaller Nevada front four as they averaged 4.2 line yards per rush. It put them in a great spot as they led 14-0 at the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, Nevada began to get things going with more explosive plays. The Golden Bears tried to punch back as they essentially abandoned the run game.

The problem is that the Bears' passing game is not explosive. Quarterback Chase Garbers totaled only 177 yards on 38 attempts, one fewer than Carson Strong, Nevada's NFL caliber quarterback. Garbers also only averaged 4.4 yards per attempt. Trying to make the game a shootout put the Bears in a bad position.

In this matchup against TCU, They will need to establish the run and stick to it. The Bears had success anytime they ran the ball as they averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Their run game will make this matchup more favorable as they can control the clock and keep TCU's offense off the field.

Bears Defense

This Cal defense struggled against Nevada's air raid after the first quarter as they allowed 312 yards on over seven yards per pass attempt. Nonetheless, they proved last year that they can create opportunities as they ranked seventh in defensive havoc.

The unit was very strong against the run as they held the Wolf Pack to 2.3 yards per carry.  This defense will need to be sharp as they have a very dynamic challenge ahead of them.

TCU vs. California Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Cal and TCU match up statistically:

Cal Offense vs. TCU Defense




Rushing Success654
Passing Success1147
Line Yards6912
Sack Rate11631
Finishing Drives4335

TCU Offense vs. Cal Defense




Rushing Success4390
Passing Success111124
Line Yards5583
Sack Rate9968
Finishing Drives11480

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling5390
Rush Rate51.7% (88)60.1% (25)
Seconds per Play8178
Special Teams SP+114101

Data via College Football Data (CFBD) and FootballOutsiders; SP+ projection per ESPN.

This is going to be a defensive battle that will be decided in the trenches. It's going to be Cal's run game against a great TCU defensive line. Though what will make the difference in this matchup is the explosiveness of the TCU offense.

TCU can come up with big plays from a long run by Duggan or a deep play-action pass. The Cal secondary couldn't keep up with Nevada's receivers, and they will have even more trouble with the speed of TCU.

TCU vs. California Betting Pick

The beginning of this game will be tight as the opposing lines battle, but it is a war of attrition that TCU can ultimately win. The Cal offense showed us just how stagnant it can become if they don't run the ball.

Even if they do pound the rock in this one, they won't have much success. On the other side, TCU has too much versatility and speed for the Golden Bears to handle. It may not be until the second half, but TCU can pull away.

Pick: TCU -11.5 (Play to -13.5)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.