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California Golden Bears†vs.†Washington Huskies Odds - Free Pick

California Golden Bears†(3-2†SU,†3-2†ATS) vs.†Washington Huskies†(5-0†SU,†3-2†ATS)
College Football Week†6
Date/Time:†Friday, October 7, 2017 at 10:45PM EST†
Where:†Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington
TV:†ESPN
by†Scott,†NCAA†Football†Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread:†CAL +27.5/WASH -27.5
Over/Under Total:†56.5

The California Golden Bears come to Seattle on Saturday for a Pac-12 matchup with the Washington Huskies. Cal started the season 3-0, but has dropped two straight. After losing to Oregon on the road last week, 45-24, they now face a daunting back-to-back road assignment with the ranked Huskies. Washington is 5-0 and looking ahead to big things. Last week, Washington won their second straight road game with a 42-7 win over Oregon State. So far, itís been smooth sailing for the Huskies, with nary a sweat en route to this point.

Cal isnít that bad. They are dealing with a lot of transition, especially on offense, where they had gotten explosive quarterback play the past several seasons. Itís a little more subdued on offense this season, but there are still ample good signs under first-year head coach Justin Wilcox. Itís just that the changes he is making, namely in making them a more-balanced team, will take some time to resonate. After starting 3-0, they lost but covered the spread against the Trojans. So for them to lose badly to Oregon last week was a negative development for the program. And this game should go a long way toward showing where they really are this season, as this looks like a really tough spot for the Cal Bears.

Heís no Jared Goff or Davis Webb, but Cal QB Ross Bowers hasnít been bad. He threw for 3 touchdowns against Oregon with no picks, despite throwing 6 in the previous 2 games. The sophomore is still getting his feet wet and the jump in difficulty has been stark, with the youngster facing some of the best teams in the country right at the beginning of his college playing career. He is coming along nicely, but will have his hands full with this defense. The run-game has gotten a boost from young Patrick Laird, who has taken over as the teamís go-to back. Aerially, Vic Wharton, III. and Kanawai Noa have been Bowersí two top favorite targets, with Jordan Veasy adding three touchdown grabs this season.

With those great offenses Cal has possessed, itís been their defense that has prevented them from achieving really big things. While they are hardly what you would call a good defense, they are moving in the right direction under the stewardship of coach Wilcox. They were a big part of the wins over North Carolina and Ole Miss, which painted the Cal ďDĒ in a decent light. But as they entered conference play against more-effervescent offenses, weíve started to see some cracks developing. They were in the game against USC, but the Oregon game was a step back and this matchup looks problematic, as well. Someone other than tremendous linebacker Devante Downs will need to step up this week, especially in the pass-defense, where theyíve been getting worse week after week.

Washington is knocking on the door of a top-five ranking and so far, they look to be a major contender in this conference and potentially beyond. They are giving up an average of just over ten points a game, while their offense is again a high-flying one under senior QB Jake Browning. They are averaging 40 points a game and itís easy to see how that equation works in their favor. But they might be facing a more offensively-talented Cal team this week. Still, last season, Washington was all over Cal in a 66-27 wipeout.

Browning is a top commodity among college quarterbacks, a realistic Heisman candidate who is completing over 71% of his passes, while making full use of a stocked offense. After a slow start to the season, running back Myles Gaskin is averaging over 7 yards a carry and has rushed for 6 touchdowns, while catching two more. Aerially, the loss of deep threat Chico McClatcher has hurt and they now look for someone to take the top off the defense. But Dante Pettis, Hunter Bryant, and Will Dissly will try to pick up the slack. Against Oregon State, Pettis caught twelve balls. With the losses in the offseason and McClatcher going down, Browning will need to cultivate additional weapons to carry the Huskies to big things this season. He has done well, but Browning still hasnít really hit his stride yet this season and after throwing 6 touchdowns against Cal last year, we could see some bigger things this week.

The Huskiesí defense has been tough this season, albeit against a group of teams that donít have great offenses. Junior corner Jordan Miller has two picks, as it was important to restock a secondary that sent a bunch of talent to the NFL. LB Ben Burr-Kirven has been a force in the middle. They are giving up just over 250 yards of offense per game. This game should be a good test, with Cal able to do things some of Washingtonís early-season opponents have not been able to do.

I donít like the direction Cal is headed going into this matchup. They started well, but have regressed the past few weeks and now face a back-to-back conference road trip against the toughest team in the Pac-12. After consecutive road games, Washington is at home and could be shot out of a cannon against a Cal team that has lost some wind in their sails. Be that as it may, I see Cal being slightly more-robust defensively than last seasonís unit that allowed Browning to throw 6 touchdowns, along with an offense that should keep them vaguely in the game. Iím taking the Cal Bears.

Scott's†Pick to Cover the Point Spread:†Iím betting on the California Golden Bears plus 27.5 points.

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NCAA Football Week 8 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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