The Oregon Ducks have owned the upper hand in their recent rivalry with the Cal Bears, winning seven of the last eight meetings outright, going 6-2 against the spread. Cal's only win over that span came in an overtime thriller last year. The Bears and Ducks meet again Saturday night in Eugene.
College football point spread: The Ducks opened as 17-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (line updates and matchup report available here)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 45.4-26.8 Ducks (college football picks on every game available here)
Why the California Golden Bears can cover the spread
Cal is 3-1 both SU and ATS this season after losing last week at home to USC 30-20 but covering as a 17-point dog. The Bears battled the Trojans to a 13-13 tie through three quarters, gave up the next 17 points but drove to a late touchdown to grab the cash.
On the day, Cal actually outgained USC 416-356, but six turnovers basically cost the Bears 20 points. An improving defense tried to keep Cal in the game, taking the ball away twice and stopping the Trojans twice on fourth downs, all in Bears territory. After allowing 518 yards per game last season, Cal has cut that by 72 yards per game so far this season.
The Bears opened this season by halting a nine-game road losing streak with a 35-30 win at North Carolina.
Why the Oregon Ducks can cover the spread
Oregon is also 3-1 and looking to bounce back after falling 37-35 at Arizona State last week. The Ducks spotted the Sun Devils an early 17-7 advantage, trailed 31-14 early in the third quarter, rallied to take a 35-34 lead midway through the fourth but gave up a field goal with three minutes left and could not respond.
On the night, Oregon QB Justin Herbert threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. So the sophomore now owns a career touchdowns/interceptions ratio of 27/6. But the Ducks also went just 1-for-13 on third-down and fourth-down conversions.
Oregon was also surprised by an onside kick in the second quarter that resulted in an Arizona State field goal and committed 14 penalties for 99 yards.
The Ducks opened this season by putting up 77, 42 and 49 points in victories over Southern Utah, Nebraska and Wyoming.
Cal put up a spirited effort last week but could be susceptible to a letdown. Oregon, on the other hand, had a lot of things go wrong last week but should bounce back. Smart money here at online sports betting sites rides the Ducks.
College football betting trends
California is 1-5 ATS in its last six games against Oregon.
The total has gone under in seven of California's last 10 games against Oregon.
Oregon is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 games against its conference.
All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.