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Cal Golden Bears vs. Oregon Ducks Gambling & NCAA Handicapping Prediction

Golden Bears vs Ducks CBB Picks

The No. 17 Oregon Ducks began the 2013 college basketball season 13-0, but they’re coming off their first loss of the season to the No. 20 Colorado Buffaloes. Now they’re slated to take on the 10-4 California Golden Bears at Matthew Knight Arena. The showdown will take place Thursday, Jan. 9 at 11:00 p.m. ET. [ad-4468020]

California (10-4, 1-0) at Oregon (13-1, 1-1 Pac-12)
Thursday, Jan. 9 11:00 p.m. ET


The Golden Bears have played well enough to make their mark on the early part of the season, but they have an offensive juggernaut on their hands in the Oregon Ducks. Oregon is third in the nation in points per game (89.4), and it is shooting 49.6 percent—the 13th-best mark in the nation.

Winning this game comes down to accomplishing one of two things: stepping up on defense or finding a spark on offense. The Golden Bears have averaged just 74.2 points per outing—the 144th-best mark in the nation—meaning defense must be a priority.

When it comes to stopping the Ducks, the Bears must look to disrupt passing lanes. Oregon is incredibly efficient at moving the ball, and it is a top-25 team in terms of assists as a result.
Look for Cal to lock down on Joseph Young, the junior guard averaging 19.1 points per game. The 6’2” backcourt player is shooting 44.4 percent from deep and 53 percent from the field, which means if the Bears can take away his production, they’ll be in good shape when it comes to limiting the Ducks’ options.


The Ducks have been the superior offensive team this season compared to Cal, but defense is where the Golden Bears are making a living. They’re 84th in the nation in points allowed, and while that may not be considered elite, it’s substantially better than the No. 295 ranking Oregon boasts in the same category.

The Golden Bears are allowing 10 points fewer per game than the Ducks, which means Oregon needs decent production out of more than just Joseph Young. As good as the Ducks have been this season, they’re simply not going to win with defense. If California locks down on Young, look for players across the roster to step up.

If Oregon’s role players kick in, this team remains the favorites. They’ve beaten everybody this season they were supposed to, and their only loss is to a Colorado team that has been mighty impressive early in the year.

Expect Oregon to get a solid showing from more than just Young, and if that comes to fruition, so will a solid win.

Prediction: Oregon 78 – California 68


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