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Pac-12 Betting Preview: Cal Golden Bears at Stanford Cardinal

California Golden Bears(5-5) @ Stanford Cardinal (7-3)

  • Where: Stanford Stadium . Stanford, CA
  • When: November 18, 2017 8:00 pm EST
  • Spread: California (+15.5) at Stanford (-15.5)
  • Moneyline: California (+475) at Stanford (-750)
  • Over / Under: Over 55.5 (-110) vs Under 55.5 (-110)

John Elway is reportedly still upset about the “Big Play” that vanquished Stanford in 1982, and bristles when anyone jokes about the Stanford band taking the field.

No question that the California – Stanford rivalry has been amazing! sensational! dramatic! heart-rending! and so-on for over 100 years. But the eternal “down by-contact vs. horn-section interference” debate and other dramas swirl around the straight-up outcomes and bragging rights.

Boosters will take ’em to their graves, but the rest of us? We’re just trying to win some money.

The point spread for the 2017 Big Game seems juicy enough. The Golden Bears have been amazing at times during the season, impotent at other times, and often settled on dreadfully average. Cal opened as a 3-score underdog on most betting boards, though the action is moving slightly toward the Bears.

As for MSB, we see a potentially wise bet on the O/U total.

Tree trouble

There’s no question a statement was made by last weekend’s surprising, brutal 30-22 beat-down of Washington.

The Cardinal is now tied, and holding the tie-breaker, for 1st place in the Pac-12 North. The win over the Huskies was textbook – Bryce Love dominating on the ground, unheralded K.J. Costello finding JJ Arcega-Whiteside for explosive catches, and the defense making the most of every late-down opportunity.

Stanford slumped once in September and once around Halloween, but the Tree has spooked all opponents at home. Washington came closest to threatening them at Stanford Stadium – wins over Oregon and UCLA, both comparable in overall strength to the Golden Bears, were lop-sided beatings.

Flashing in the pan?

Cal is sitting at 5-5, seemingly stuck in the same rut the program has been in for a while. But look closer, and the Bears have turned out great performances on a few isolated Saturdays. California has whipped Washington State (and Ole Miss) at home, and beat Oregon State by 2 touchdowns last week.

Contrast that with a fatigue-riddled 44-28 loss to CU at Boulder the week before. The Bears are up and down.

Sophomore Cal QB Ross Bowers has struggled when dealing with pressure in ’17. He has taken 32 sacks and thrown 11 interceptions. There’s a chance Stanford’s front-7 will whip up a lot of pass rush on Saturday, but that’s just one eventuality out of many. The rivalry element is too great, and California’s ceiling is way too high, for a wager on the Cardinal to cover to be anything close to a sure thing.

But that doesn’t mean there’s not a golden bet opportunity.

Stanford vs California – Over/Under Bet Prediction

Wager on over (55.5) points at Bet Online and receive a 50% sign-up bonus! 

There are 3 ways this one could go –

A) Stanford storms out to a big halftime lead, which will spawn lots of home-team substitutions in the 2nd half for ceremonial Big Game purposes…and open the door for garbage-time points from Cal

B) California stuns with fireworks early, causing Stanford to open up and score bunches

or C) Stanford wins a grudging defensive battle.

C may be a definite possibility, but no more than A or B. All 3 outcomes seem equally likely, depending on play-calling and the bounce of the ball. A and B are also high-scoring outcomes.

So bet the Over (55.5) points, and cheer for offense in the Big Game. There’s a 2/3 chance to win an even-odds bet, and that’s a great way to celebrate an American tradition.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.


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