NCAA Football Free Preview: California Golden Bears at Arizona Wildcats

Jose VasquezArticles, College Football, Football

The California Golden Bears (-2) are heading east to visit their conference nemesis Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. The matchup is scheduled to kick off at 10:00 p.m. ET and FS1 will broadcast the action.

Betting Preview: Arizona Wildcats vs. California Golden Bears

In this Saturday Pac-12 game, California is labeled as the favorite and is currently giving up 2 points. The Golden Bears are also receiving -130 moneyline odds while the Wildcats are +110. This Pac-12 matchup should provide several decent in-game betting opportunities, and Vegas has determined the over/under (O/U) to be 56. With the spread currently standing at Arizona +2, oddsmakers are thinking this has the feel of a 27-29 win for the Golden Bears.

The original odds have shifted, as the line opened at -3. The game’s total has not changed after being set initially at 56.

The Golden Bears have gained 1.1 units so far in 2018 and are 1-2-1 against the spread (ATS). The team has posted an Over-Under mark of 1-2.

The Wildcats have been a disappointment to moneyline bettors this season, losing 5.8 units. They’re 2-3 ATS and have an O/U record of 0-4.

The Golden Bears are 3-1 straight up (SU), including 0-1 SU against conference opponents. The Wildcats are 2-3 SU overall and 1-1 SU in conference play.

The Golden Bears look to get back on track after a 42-24 defeat to Oregon last week. The Golden Bears defense allowed the Ducks to rush for 260 yards on 42 attempts, including two rush TDs. On the offensive side, the Golden Bears completed 16-of-31 passes for 186 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. Brandon McIlwain went 11-for-21 for 128 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions while Chase Garbers completed four-of-nine for 44 yards and two interceptions. Patrick Laird (92 yards on 18 rush attempts, one TD) and the signal-caller McIlwain (123 yards on 15 carries, one TD) led the ground attack. Vic Wharton III (six receptions, 68 yards) and Kanawai Noa (four catches, 46 yards) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.

Arizona just lost a 24-20 game to USC. Khalil Tate completed 16-of-33 passes for 232 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. J.J. Taylor (50 rushing yards on 18 attempts) and the signal-caller Tate (38 yards on 13 carries) spearheaded the running attack while Shun Brown (five receptions, 81 yards) led the pass-catching corps in the loss.

Looking at offensive play-calling, each of these squads sports a similar run-pass ratio on the season. California has run the ball on 56.5 percent of its offensive possessions while Arizona has an overall rush percentage of 57.5. The Golden Bears have produced 195.3 rush yards/game and have five scores on the ground this year. The Wildcats are totaling 217.4 rushing yards per game (270.0 in conference) and have 10 total rush TDs.

It appears that the Wildcats may have the more disruptive lines up front. Their offensive line has yielded only five sacks while their D-line has logged seven sacks. The Golden Bears offensive line has given up eight sacks and their defense has forced only six sacks.

The Golden Bears offensive scheme has tallied 198.3 yards per contest through the air overall and has eight passing scores so far. The Wildcats have put up 264.0 pass yards per game (192 against Pac-12 competition) and have 10 total pass TDs.

Defensively, California seems to have the upper hand in both facets. The team has allowed 163.8 rush yards and 184.3 pass yards per game. The Arizona defense has given up 214.2 yards per game to opposing passers and 204.6 yards per game to opposing runners. The Golden Bears are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 3.85 to opponents, while the Wildcats have given up a 6.83 ANY/A.

Tate probably has the advantage over Chase Garbers in this matchup. His adjusted net yards per pass attempt stands at 8.43 for the season and 7.49 across his last two outings while Garbers’ ANY/A is 3.31 (and 5.11 over the past two outings).

When these two programs met a year ago, Arizona got the victory 45-44.

California Golden Bears at Arizona Wildcats Betting Prediction

SU Winner: Arizona, ATS Winner: Arizona, O/U: Under

Team Betting Notes

  • The Arizona defensive unit has registered seven sacks on the year while California has six.
  • Arizona has lost two fumbles in 2018 while California has lost four.
  • The Golden Bears offense has created two pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Wildcats have put up three such plays.
  • The California defense has allowed three pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Arizona has given up four such plays.
  • The California offense has created two rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Arizona has created 11 such runs.
  • The Golden Bears defense has allowed three rushing plays of 20+ yards, while the Wildcats have given up 10 such runs.
  • Arizona was getting 3 points in its last outing and the O/U was 62. The under cashed and Arizona failed to cover in the team’s 24-20 defeat to USC.
  • California was the underdog by 2 points in its last game and the Over/Under was set at 57.5. The over cashed and California failed to cover in the 42-24 defeat to Oregon.
  • California has rushed for 5.13223140495868 yards per attempt over its last three outings and 5.4 over its last two.
  • Arizona has averaged 6.4 yards per carry over its last three matchups and 6.1 over its past two.