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California Golden Bears vs. Oregon Ducks Gambling Prediction & Week 5 Preview

Cal vs Oregon NCAA Football Odds

The No. 2 Oregon Ducks have made a habit of dismantling their opponents early in the 2013 college football season.

California (1-2, 0-0 Pac 12) @ No. 2 Oregon (3-0, 0- Pac 12)
Saturday, Sept. 28, 10:30 PM ET @ Autzen Stadium
Moneyline: N/A
Spread: Oregon -36
O/U: 84

ATS Matchup Stats | Gambling Insight!

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They’ve won their first three games by an average of 52.3 points, and while the competition hasn’t been top-tier, Virginia and Tennessee were two opponents who were supposedly going to be their first challenges of the year.

California, on the other hand, has struggled against both upper- and lower-echelon teams thus far. They’ve dropped two contests against Northwestern and Ohio State, and they barely snuck away with a victory over Portland State in Week 2.

California

The California Golden Bears are one of the most dominant teams in the NCAA throwing the football. They are second in the nation in passing yards per contest, and they’re averaging a respectable 33.7 points per game as a result. The problem is that they don’t have a run game or a defense to complement their achievements through the air.

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At this point in the year, Cal is averaging just 117.3 rushing yards per game. Their pass attack is as potent as it comes, but establishing balance against Oregon’s defense is going to be crucial. Defensively is where the real mess happens, as the Golden Bears are giving up 42 points on average, which puts them at 121st in that category. The Ducks are one of the most prolific offenses in the NCAA, meaning Cal is in trouble if it can’t slow down its opponent on the road.

The strategy against Oregon is often to keep the ball out of their hands. Unfortunately for the Golden Bears, they don’t have that luxury, as their ground game can’t be trusted. In Week 5, the only way for California to come out of this alive is if its takes chances. It can’t be afraid to go for it on fourth down, it can’t be afraid to take shots down field and it certainly can’t be shaken if it falls behind early. A quick start is vital for success against the Ducks, and that’s something Cal must look to make happen. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Oregon

Entering the 2013 season, the big question mark surrounding Oregon was how it would react to Chip Kelly leaving for the NFL. Would the team be as efficient on offense? Would the speed continue to flourish? We may only be three games into the team’s season, but up to this point, they’re walking and talking just like the Ducks of the past few years.

Oregon enters this matchup as the No. 2 scoring offense in the nation. What’s equally as impressive is that it is also No. 5 in points per game allowed. The Golden Bears will look to attack the Ducks through the air, but luckily for the home team, it has one of the best secondaries in the nation.

Against Cal, the strategy must be to simply continue staying the course. De’Anthony Thomas has surprisingly taken on the role of every-down back, and there’s no need to change that now, as we’ve seen the team do in years past. Marcus Mariota has turned himself into a legitimate Heisman frontrunner, and allowing him to run the zone read to perfection is a huge reason for the team’s success.

The only question in this one is whether or not the Ducks are able to cover the spread. They’re simply not going to lose to Cal at Autzen Stadium, but 36 points is a whole lot to cover. As previously noted, Oregon is winning by an average point margin of 52.3 points at this juncture. Don’t expect that kind of blowout against Cal, but then again, don’t be shocked if Oregon comes away with a win ATS.

Score Prediction: Oregon 56 – California 17

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