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College Football Betting Odds & Pick: Oregon vs. California (Saturday, Dec. 5)

College Football Betting Odds & Pick: Oregon vs. California (Saturday, Dec. 5) article feature image

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images. Pictured: Oregon Ducks quarterback Tyler Shough.

  • Following a shocking late loss in the Civil War game last week, Oregon heads south to take on the Cal Bears.
  • Tyler Shough has replaced Justin Herbert very well as the Ducks’ QB, while Cal’s offense is still very much a work in progress.
  • Matt Wispe lays out why he sees value in Oregon as an almost double-digit road favorite.

Oregon vs. California Odds

Oregon Odds -9.5 [BET NOW]
California Odds +9.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -345/+265 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 58 [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday at 2 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today.

Oregon enters Saturday’s Pac-12 game following a collapse against in-state rival Oregon State. Despite rolling out a new starting quarterback, the Ducks’ offense appears to be significantly more developed than its defense in the small sample size. 

California comes into this contest on a three-game losing streak, with its most recent defeat coming against Stanford. The Golden Bears have yet to cover the spread, holding an 0-2-1 record and average loss margin of 10.8 points. 

Against a competent offense, Oregon’s defense would be a major concern when it comes to backing the Ducks, but Cal’s offense lacks the upside to keep up with its opponent’s scoring.

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Oregon Ducks

At the end of last week’s loss to Oregon State, the Ducks had a postgame win expectancy of 69 percent. Their fourth-quarter collapse was a result of an underwhelming defensive performance, resulting in 22 fourth-quarter points for the Beavers.

There are very few questions about the Oregon offense, which is averaging 38.5 points per game and has a success rate of 52%. The Ducks have proven capable of consistently finishing drives at 4.52 points per opportunity, which ranks inside of the top 20 nationally.

Despite installing a new quarterback, Oregon has a passing success rate of 50.4% in its four games, with an average of four 20-plus yards completions per game. Tyler Shough is completing 65.8% of his passes, with an average of 9.9 yards per attempt. He’s also added value to the offense with his legs, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

Despite not having offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who chose to opt out this season, the line has been a strength and given plenty of help to the running game. The offensive line is generating an average of 3.42 line yards per attempt, and has allowed a stuff rate of just 17.6 percent. This has helped it have a rushing success rate of 53.4% and average 5.6 yards per attempt.

What stands out as the most concerning thing about the Ducks’ defensive performance against Oregon State was the 55.8% rushing success rate it allowed. However, even with two running backs with more than 100 rushing yards this year, Cal doesn’t have a player of the same caliber as Jermar Jefferson. Still, the Oregon run defense is a concern.

For the year, the Ducks have allowed a rushing success rate of 47.9% and only stuff 19.2% of attempts. Against a Cal team that has yielded an average of 8.33 tackles for loss per game, Oregon will hopefully get more havoc created by its front seven, which has a 7.1% havoc rate through four games.

California Golden Bears

California is 0-3 and sits at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings. It’s averaging fewer than 70 offensive plays per game, running a play every 26.2 seconds. Unfortunately, it’s the 37.6% success rate that has limited its success.

The Golden Bears have a passing success rate of 31.6%, averaging just 5.6 yards per attempt. All told, Cal is finishing with just 196 passing yards per game. Quarterback Chase Garbers has completed 62.5% of his passes, but it’s his 5-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio that raises some eyebrows.

As previously mentioned, running backs Damien Moore and Marcel Dancy have more than 100 rushing yards. And with Cal’s rushing success rate of 45.5%, it’s a wonder why the Golden Bears only run the ball on 48.6% of plays. Their line has averaged 3.14 line yards per attempt, but has also allowed a stuff rate of 22.7 percent.

California’s defense has allowed a success rate of 46.3%, and against an Oregon team that favors the run, its 47.9 rushing success rate allowed is noteworthy. It’s forcing a stuff rate of 19.2%, allowing 3.12 line yards per attempt.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Against a stronger offense, Oregon’s defense would likely be a big enough red flag to avoid the side entirely, meaning it would be wise to just make a play on the total. However, Cal’s offense isn’t strong enough to exploit the Ducks.

Oregon has proven that offense is its strength, and Cal isn’t likely to keep up the pace in a shootout. That said, I’m backing the Ducks at minus-9.5 and would take them up to -13, but make smaller plays once is crosses over 10.

Pick: Oregon -9.5 (up to -13).

[Bet Oregon now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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