College Football Odds, Predictions, Picks for Cal vs. Arizona: The Team Total to Bet

College Football Odds, Predictions, Picks for Cal vs. Arizona: The Team Total to Bet article feature image

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  • The Cal Golden Bears take on the Arizona Wildcats in Saturday Pac-12 action.
  • The Wildcats have struggles mightily this season and remain winless.
  • Roberto Arguello isn't expecting much out of them from a betting perspective today and explains why below.

Cal vs. Arizona Odds

Saturday, Nov. 6
3 p.m. ET
Pac-12 Network
Cal Odds
-110o / -110u
Arizona Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Cal travels to Tucson to take on Arizona in a Pac-12 battle on Saturday afternoon.

The Golden Bears started the season 1-5, but they picked up consecutive wins in the last two weeks over Colorado and Oregon State to improve to 3-5 on the season — which is much better than what Arizona can say.

The Wildcats are still looking for their first win of the season after losing, 41-34, at USC last week to fall to 0-8. Although Arizona did lose its 20th straight game, it earned a moral victory by scoring more than 20 points for the first time this season.

Is the Wildcats' offense improving, and is there value on them to cover against Cal?

Let's break it down.

California Golden Bears

When Cal Has the Ball

If Cal wins and covers, it will be because it sticks with the run and continues to win at the line of scrimmage.

The Golden Bears rank first in the country in Line Yards and 29th in Rushing Success Rate. They should have success on the ground against a mediocre Arizona rush defense that ranks 70th in Line Yards and 58th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.

Cal’s offensive line has played well throughout the season when running the ball, but the Bears have gotten away from the run. This has cost them in some close losses (like when they blew a 14-0 first-quarter lead to Nevada).

The Bears rank 93rd in the country in Rush Rate (50.8%), but they need to commit to the run against Arizona to open up more room for Chase Garbers to use the play-action pass.

On the run! @ChaseGarbers 🙌

— Cal Football (@CalFootball) October 30, 2021

Garbers has been inconsistent throughout his time in Berkeley, but he is coming off of his best performance of the season in the win over Oregon State. Garbers threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 58 yards and another touchdown.

He should have success through the air against an Arizona secondary that ranks 130th in PFF coverage grade.

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Arizona Wildcats

When Arizona Has the Ball

If Arizona wants to cover or pull the upset, it needs to consistently get ahead of the chains and take care of the football.

The Wildcats don’t have a strength on offense, as they are average or worse in every statistical category. However, their biggest weakness is that they rank 128th in Pass Success Rate. If they get into third down and medium or long, the Cal defense will consistently get them off of the field.

The Wildcats need to try to run the football against Cal’s defense to take the pressure off of quarterback Will Plummer.

After recording a QBR below 30 in each of his first five appearances this season, Plummer had his best performance last week at USC, finishing with a 68.8 QBR while passing for a season-high 264 yards. The question for Arizona is if he can replicate this success against a much better Cal defense this week.

Cal’s defense is battling a myriad of injuries, but it is coming off of perhaps its most impressive performance of the season in an upset win over Oregon State.

Cal held the strong Oregon State rushing attack in check last week, as B.J. Baylor and Deshaun Fenwick were each held to fewer than 50 yards on the ground.

Cal vs. Arizona Matchup Analysis

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

Cal Offense vs. Arizona Defense
Rush Success2958
Line Yards170
Pass Success6966
Pass Blocking**4786
Big Play5177
Finishing Drives65103
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Arizona Offense vs. Cal Defense
Rush Success8292
Line Yards76106
Pass Success12858
Pass Blocking**6470
Big Play9792
Finishing Drives12534
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling10882
Middle 895107
SP+ Special Teams3862
Plays per Minute8925
Rush Rate50.8% (93)48.4% (107)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Cal vs. Arizona Betting Pick

While I’d love to bet on Arizona here, I just don’t trust Plummer and the offense enough. This could be a letdown spot for Cal, as it's on the road before playing USC and Stanford in the next two weeks.

Arizona’s offense isn’t consistent enough running the ball or passing the ball to move the chains consistently against this Cal defense, and they aren’t explosive at all either.

Cal’s offense has looked great the last two weeks against Colorado and Oregon State at home, but I’m not willing to back them as double-digit road favorites here either.

Instead, I like the value on the Arizona team total under. Before playing USC last week, Arizona had not scored more than 19 points this season. Cal’s defense should hold the Wildcats' offense in check like it did two weeks ago when it held Colorado without a touchdown.

The Arizona offense is overvalued after scoring a season-high last week against a poor USC defense. I like the value of selling high on them here.

Cal’s offense should have success running the ball and the unit's limited explosiveness should lead to them shortening the game with longer possessions.

Take the Arizona team total under at DraftKings with value down to 18.

Pick: Arizona Team Total Under 19.5

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