California Golden Bears vs. Oregon Ducks
Date and Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
Opening College Football Odds: Oregon -15
California vs. Oregon TV Coverage: FOX Sports 1
The splits for Oregon at home and away are usually pretty crazy, but this year, at least in the early going, they’re just flat out insane.
The Ducks put up 401 yards and 35 points last week against Arizona State. They averaged 609 yards and 56 points per game in three home games to start the season.
Justin Herbert? He completed over 72 percent of his passes in his first three games of the season. He was good for just 54.3 percent against the Sun Devils.
Royce Freeman? He scored nine touchdowns in his first three games and rushed for at least 150 yards in all three outings. Against the Sun Devils? 15 carries for 81 yards and one score.
It’s easy to do the math here and figure out what the Ducks are all about. They play as up-tempo as could be and do so incredibly effectively at home. On the road when the crowd is buckling down against them, it’s an entirely different story.
That means the Golden Bears have their work cut out for them to avoid losing a second consecutive game after starting off the year with three wins. Losing to USC last week wasn’t unexpected, though it might have been a pleasant surprise to some to see the Golden Bears hang in there until the fourth quarter.
Still, Cal has a couple really good results thus far this season, including upsetting UNC in Chapel Hill and Ole Miss at home. Even the 33-20 win over Weber State wasn’t the end of the world, knowing that the Wildcats are amongst the best West Coast teams in the ranks of the FCS this season.
6 – The number of times Cal turned the ball over last week against USC.
Granted, that USC defense is something truly special, particularly in the front seven. The Trojans have a number of guys out there who are going to be playing on Sundays one day in the not distant future, and just the fact that the Golden Bears amassed 416 yards was encouraging.
However, Ross Bowers flat out can’t throw four picks in a game in this conference and live to tell about it. California has the ability to make up a lot of ground on the offensive side of the ball, but the defense isn’t good enough for the offense to get stopped four times in most games, let alone either giving up crucial opportunities to score or coughing up great field position.
California vs. Oregon Free Picks
Last season when these two teams met, it was a thrilling game that required a couple overtime periods to complete. The Golden Bears won 52-49 in the end, and they needed every single one of Davis Webb’s five touchdown passes to hold off Oregon.
In that game, Cal had the ball for over 36 minutes, and that’s why it was able to hold its own, even after blowing a 31-14 halftime lead.
Once again, though, that game was in Berkeley, and this game is in Eugene. Though we hate laying 15-points with the Ducks and don’t think they’re truly that much better than Cal is, we know that Autzen Stadium does some weird things to opponents. We’ll give the points, but we’re fairly confident that all of the best online sportsbooks got this spread just about correct.
College Football ATS Pick: Oregon -15 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Oregon 44, California 27