Saturday, December 5, 2020, California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California, 7 p.m. ET
Ducks at Golden Bears Betting Preview: Ducks (-9.5), Bear (+9.5)
Oregon Ducks Betting Preview
The No. 23 Ducks (3-1, 3-1 Pac-12) were in the running for a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff before Oregon State’s Chance Nolan snuck into the end zone on fourth down with 33 seconds remaining for the difference-making score in the Beavers’ shocking 41-38 victory last week.
Almost surely now out of the chase for college football’s final four, Oregon remains in the thick of the hunt for the Pac-12 title. A win over winless Cal would set up a showdown next week with 22nd-ranked Washington for the Pac-12 North title and a spot in the conference championship game.
With his team having allowed 29, 35 and 41 points in its past three games, Oregon coach Mario Cristobal acknowledged this week that his defense is a work in progress.
“I get it. We haven’t been to the level that we expected of ourselves,” he said. “There’s no sugar-coating that, but there’s also no finger-pointing. We lose as a team. We could have been better across the board, a lot of different areas. We’re committed to making sure that we do get better.”
Oregon has dominated the series in recent years and prevailed 17-7 last season in the lowest scoring game in the series since 1982. Cal was without its starting quarterback, Chase Garbers, in a game that was 10-7 before Justin Herbert threw a touchdown pass midway through the fourth period.
Herbert has since handed the ball to Tyler Shough. Shough has completed 65.8 percent of his passes for an average of 289.5 yards a game with 10 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
Jaylon Reed has 16 catches for 181 yards in four games and Devon Williams is averaging over 20 yards a catch on 13 receptions for 264 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
California Golden Bears Betting Preview
Chase Garbers led the Bears (0-3, 0-3 Pac-12) on what appeared to be a game-tying scoring drive late in last week’s Big Game against Stanford, but Dario Longhetto’s PAT was blocked with 58 seconds remaining, leaving the Golden Bears with a 24-23 defeat.
The loss left Cal not only winless on the season but also without possession of “The Axe” for the 10th time in the past 11 years.
Cal coach Justin Wilcox found himself dealing with more frayed emotions than damaged body parts in the aftermath of the gut-wrenching setback.
“We put a lot into this,” he said of the rivalry game. “A lot of people do — coaches, players, people in the program — and the fans put a lot into it. And it doesn’t feel good.”
The Bears fell short despite outgaining Stanford in total yards 392-300.
Garbers was 19 of 29 passing for 151 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 588 passing yards in three games, with five scores and three interceptions.
Damien Moore rushed for 121 yards against Stanford, giving him 161 yards in Cal’s three outings.
Ducks at Golden Bears Betting Pick for December 5, 2020
The Ducks have won 10 of the last 11 meetings with the Bears, including a 42-24 win at Berkeley in 2018 in coach Mario Cristobal’s first season as Oregon’s head coach. The Ducks won 17-7 in Eugene last year as CJ Verdell rushed for 106 yards.
Ducks at Golden Bears Betting Pick:
Ducks 35, Golden Bears 14
Ducks at Golden Bears Best Bet for December 5, 2020
The Ducks have scored at least 35 points in every game this season and are going up against a Cal defense that has given up nearly 30 a game. The Bears have averaged only 20 points a game and will be facing an Oregon defense that has surrendered just under 30 a game despite last week’s 41-38 loss to Oregon State.
Ducks at Golden Bears Best Bet: UNDER 58.5