By Charles Jay
One of the Pac-12 teams that was thought to have some upside this season was the California Golden Bears, who seem to have the right system and the right quarterback, who may be one of the top selections in the next NFL Draft. On Saturday night the Bears will try to take a big step up when they square off against the Utah Utes in a conference game that is scheduled to get underway at 10 PM ET at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. BetAnySports customers know that even after the opening kickoff, they can place wagers on the side, total and various props through the magic of Live Betting Extra.
California is pretty much going to go as far as Jared Goff can take them. Goff came to Berkley with a lot of hoopla, and he has fulfilled his promise in Sonny Dykes’ system, which is much like the “Air Raid” that has been in place at Texas Tech (in fact, it is referred to as the “Bear Raid.”). Goff has already thrown for 1630 yards and has been accurate, completing 70% of his passes with 15 touchdowns.
The Utes opened up the season with a win over Michigan, as they intercepted Jake Rudock three times (bringing one all the way back for a touchdown). And they beat arch-rival Utah State. But the game that impressed the pollsters most was the 62-20 victory IN EUGENE over Oregon, where Travis Wilson passed for four TD’s and ran for another.
Utah (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) is rated fifth in the nation by the Associated Press and 7th in the Coaches’ Poll. California (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS) is ranked 22nd by the coaches and 23rd by the AP.
In the college football betting odds on this game, as they have been established at BetAnySports, Utah is a solid favorite:
Utah Utes -7.5
California Golden Bears +7.5
Over 62 points -110
Under 62 points -110
Goff has some very prolific receivers at his disposal, and they include Kenny Lawler (27 catches, 399 yards) and Trevor Davis (20.8 yards/catch). But systems like this one always need a run threat, and Cal has a full backfield, led by Khalfani Muhammad, who has averaged nine yards a carry.
The Bears still may be fortunate to be at 5-0 right now. For example, Texas missed an extra point which handed Cal a 45-44 victory in Austin. And they could only beat Washington State by a 34-28 count despite being on the receiving end of four turnovers.
What many BetAnySports patrons are taking note of, however, is the way California has progressed on defense. They have chalked up 18 sacks, which is tied for seventh in the nation, and they have forced 18 turnovers, which is more than anyone else. Utah, which led the nation in sacks last season, only has eight thus far, as they are under the tutelage of a new defensive coordinator, John Pease.
The Utes are certainly hoping that the difference-maker in this game could be Devontae Booker, abut the senior really hasn’t had an outstanding game except against defensively-challenged Fresno State. He had only 69 yards on 22 carries against Michigan, and registered 98 yards against Oregon. These are respectable numbers, but Booker has demonstrated an ability to be a battering ram in the past.
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