Oregon vs. Cal: TV info, betting odds, expert predictions
One week after a massive win over a ranked opponent in front of a tremendous home crowd, Oregon hits the road to battle a team with a struggling offense on a lengthy losing streak in a setting that will pare in comparison to last week’s.
The eighth-ranked Oregon Ducks (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) need to guard against a letdown when they face Cal (3-4, 1-3 Pac-12). There’s no unbeaten UCLA squad on the other side, no College GameDay visit, and an expectation from many that Oregon will roll.
Cal beat the Ducks 21-17 in Berkeley two years ago. Last season, it was a 24-17 game in Oregon.
“I think anybody that turns on the TV any Saturday night is going to realize every week that you can’t predict college football,” said coach Dan Lanning this week. “I’m watching film earlier today for this game and last year came down to the last few seconds of fourth-and-2 at the goal line. So we have to bring our best every single week.”
Oregon has done that for six straight weeks. Behind resurgent play from quarterback Bo Nix, the Ducks’ offense is red-hot and has scored at least 40 points in each win.
“(Nix) is playing at a really high level,” said Cal coach Justin Wilcox. “He’s a very talented passer, and he’s not just a willing runner, he’s a good runner. He can operate the pass game like a traditional quarterback, and then he can operate in the RPO and the run game and be really effective. The math on defense changes when the QB can do that. I think he’s a very talented player. He’s played a lot of football.
“They’re very skilled. The running backs, the receivers, and the offensive line are all very good. And then they have a good system.”
The antithesis of Cal, which has scored 43 points total in its last three games — all losses. The Bears beat Arizona 49-31 on Sept. 24, and haven’t been able to recapture that offensive magic since.
Defensively, it’s been more of what we’ve come to expect from Wilcox-coached teams: a strong scheme, sound play. The Bears held the Pac-12’s top-scoring offense (at the time) to 28 points a week ago.
Can they keep enough points off the board to give themselves a chance late again against the Ducks?
Here’s everything you need to know for the game.
TV info and kickoff time
Kickoff time: 12:30 p.m. PT
TV Network: FS1; fans can also watch the game live on FOXSports.com with a cable or satellite provider login
Location: California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley
Line: Oregon -17.5
Moneyline: Oregon -850, Cal +570
ESPN’s FPI gives Oregon an 82.4% chance of beating Cal.
Bill Connelly’s SP+ is calling for a 36-19 Oregon win.
Duck Territory’s Matt Prehm picked Oregon to win 56-24:
Oregon’s offense is going to be too good for California’s defense. I expect Bo Nix to be lethal through the air and on the ground, the Ducks will bring their strong rushing attack to the game, and then the Oregon defense will feast on a very slow plodding quarterback in (Jack) Plummer for California. That’s going to set up a situation where I expect the Ducks to create turnovers, drive the field for scoring drives, and by the time the fourth quarter arrives the score will be far out of reach for Cal.
The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner picked Cal to cover:
The Ducks are rolling; the Bears, reeling. But we should remind onlookers of the point spreads and results from the past three matchups: In 2019, Oregon was favored by 20 and won by 10; in 2020, Oregon was favored by nine and lost by four; and in 2021, Oregon was favored by 13 and won by seven. Will this edition of the series unfold any differently? We’re skeptical. When something feels as obvious as an Oregon blowout, it’s best to veer in the other direction.
Ducks Digest’s Max Torres took the Ducks big, 52-22:
Jaydn Ott is a dude, but he doesn’t have a good offensive line to run behind. The Ducks should rip this line to shreds and make it a long day for a struggling Cal offense. I see three or more sacks and multiple forced turnovers.