Cal Football: Breaking Down the Vegas Odds on Every Game

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIJuly 26, 2012

Cal Football: Breaking Down the Vegas Odds on Every Game

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    Cal Football has a grueling schedule ahead of itself this year, with a tough out-of-conference schedule that includes against Ohio State and Nevada. The Vegas odds on the Cal schedule have them favored in seven of the 12 games this season.

    It's never to early to pick games for the year. The inner gambler has always enjoyed making picks based on the point spread. Thanks to the guys at Beyond the Bets for providing the opening lines for the Golden Bears and their grueling Pac-12 schedule.

    So follow along as we take a game-by-game look at Cal's upcoming season.

September 1st vs. Nevada

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    Location: Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California

    Vegas Odds: California favored by 14 points

    Nevada is only returning 12 starters from a team last year that went 7-6 in the very weak Mountain West Conference. Cal is rightfully favored by 14 points as they are just a better team. They match up well offensively and should be able to score a lot of points on a very weak Nevada defense.

    Prediction: Take Cal with the points and thank me later.

September 8th vs. Southern Utah

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    Location: Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California

    Vegas Odds: California favored by 34.5 points

    Every school loves a tune-up game. and Cal should easily dominate this one. However, the Golden Bears match up extremely well with any team they will play. Southern Utah should be able to stay within the almost five-touchdown spread though, as they have an excellent pro prospect in quarterback Brad Sorenson.

    Prediction: Take Southern Utah with the 35 points. But Cal should make you sweat.

September 15th vs. Ohio State

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    Location: Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio

    Vegas Odds: Ohio State favored by 14 points

    Ohio State is returning 18 starters on its team. It's one that should easily be in the top 15 in the country. Cal is looking like a fringe top-25 team though, and should be able to keep up with the Buckeyes. Wide receiver Keenan Allen will be the X-factor that could lead Cal to a victory.

    Prediction: Go with Cal on this one as they should keep it within a touchdown.

September 22nd vs. Southern California

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    Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California

    Vegas Odds: Southern California favored by 20 points

    Even when Southern California is a top three team, the Golden Bears tend to keep it close. USC has dominated the past couple of years, but Cal has a much better team this year. The Golden Bears won't let anyone dominate them this year with the more mature Zach Maynard and Allen running the show.

    Prediction: Go Cal all day on this one. Southern Cal is not three touchdowns better.

September 29th vs. Arizona State

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    Location: Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California

    Vegas Odds: California favored by 14 points

    California won by 11 points last year against an Arizona State team that lost its quarterback on both offense and defense when Brock Osweiler and Vontaze Burfict declared for the NFL draft. The Sun Devils aren't a great team this year and will need to get great performances from their starters at QB and MLB to make this a close game.

    Prediction: Take Cal with the points.

October 6th vs. UCLA

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    Location: Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California

    Vegas Odds: California favored by 7.5 points

    Cal and UCLA are almost always battling to a close game. Jim Mora's baby bears will have trouble keeping up with the Golden Bears' running back duo. Cal can grind this one out on the ground and will win it close over the Bruins.

    Prediction: This is always a great game. Take UCLA because it won't be more than a touchdown victory.

October 13th vs. Washington State

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    Location: Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington

    Vegas Odds: California favored by 2.5 points

    Cal dominated Washington State last season and the Golden Bears are returning all of their top performers from the game. They will rely on Isi Sofele to perform close to his 23-carries-for-138-yard performance from 2011 to win a pretty easy game vs. Washington State.

    Prediction: Take Cal with the points and enjoy earning some spare cash here.

October 20th vs. Stanford

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    Location: Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California

    Vegas Odds: Stanford favored by 3 points

    Cal-Stanford is the most heated rivalry for the Golden Bears. They take on a Stanford team that lost the best quarterback in college football from the past 20 years. However, now the teams are equal and unless Maynard takes a huge stride, Stanford's defense will help them win a close one.

    Prediction: Push. Stanford winning on a last-second field goal feels right on this one.

October 27th vs. Utah

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    Location: Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah

    Vegas Odds: Utah favored by 6 points

    As much as Utah looks like a Pac-12 team, they still have a ways to go before they are completely competitive in the conference. Despite the losses on defense, Keenan Allen is another year older and his Calvin Johnson-esque receiving ability is going to make him hard to stop with the still Mountain West defense that Utah has.

    Prediction: Cal wins a close one. Take them to beat the spread.

November 2nd vs. Washington

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    Location: Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California

    Vegas Odds: California favored by 2 points

    Cal lost a close one at Washington last time. They should be able to take the home-field advantage here. Expect the Golden Bears' defense to hold Washington below 20 points and the offense to get around 24-28 points in a close re-match.

    Prediction: Take Cal and the points.

November 10th vs. Oregon

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    Location: Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California

    Vegas Odds: Oregon favored by 10 points

    Oregon is still the best team in the Pac-12 and won't be ceding that title until USC can beat them in the Pac-12 title game. Cal is a good team, but they are still a year away from challenging the speed and agility that the Oregon offense will beat them with.

    Prediction: Take Oregon and the points.

November 17th vs. Oregon State

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    Location: Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon

    Vegas Odds: California favored by 4 points

    Cal finishes their season with a 7-4 record to this point. Oregon State is always a good matchup but the Golden Bears burned them in 2011. Sofele and Anderson can play keep-away again and give Cal a dominant win in Corvallis to put them at 8-4 on the year heading into a likely bowl.

    Prediction: Cal wins and take the points.

    Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and also runs the NFL draft website ScarDraft.com and is the host of Kvetching Draftniks Radio.