Texas Longhorns (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Cal Golden Bears (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Saturday, September 17th, 10:30pm EST
Where: Memorial Stadium - Berkeley, CA
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TEX -8 / CAL +8
Over/Under Total: 76.5
Week three is already among us and it seems just like yesterday we were excited about the opening weekend of college football. Well, we have some seen some surprises already and some amazing finishes with games like Central Michigan and Oklahoma State. There have also been some big upsets as well as some near upsets as well. One of the surprises is how well the Texas Longhorns are playing. They came into this season unranked in most polls and after two weeks have already jumped up to the 11th ranked team in the nation. Has Charlie Strong turned the Longhorns around?
The Texas Longhorns will take their 2-0 record into Berkeley this weekend to take on the California Golden Bears. Cal has been involved in some high scoring affairs this season and it appears that this game should be no different. The total points are set at 76.5 and this game could actually sore well beyond that number if these offenses get clicking.
The line on the game opened with Texas as an eight point road favorite and that number has stayed pretty much there. I have seen a few 7.5s and in one book I saw an 8.5 but for the most part this game is on the eight. Texas has covered the spread in both games this season and Cal is 1-1 against the bookmakers numbers. The early action appears that the public is falling in love with the Horns. 65% of the documented action is on Texas to cover at Cal.
If Texas plans on getting the win and moving on to 3-0, they are going to have to play some defense. Cal can score. Although the Golden Bears do not play the best defense, they will just try to outshoot you and put up points. If Texas can get some stops, they could easily get the win as well as the cover. Quarterback Davis Webb has already neared the 1,000 yards passing mark in just two games. Running backs Vic Enwere and Khalfani Muhammad are a great duo both averaging over seven yards per carry. Texas needs to find a way to slow these guys down or things could get a little tough for them on the road.
As for Cal, if they want to pull the upset and move to 2-1, they gotta get better on defense...got to. After two games, Cal is allowing their opponents to score nearly 40 points a game and they have not played a team as talented as Texas yet. The Longhorns have handled business so far in 2016 and it seems like the fans are starting to warm up to Charlie Strong. In week two, Texas had an easy win over UTEP but the big statement was the opening weekend when they took down Notre Dame (A game that I predicted..kinda). This Texas team has confidence and a win this weekend and a few upsets around the nation and we could see the Longhorns in the top ten. The Texas freshman quarterback, Steve Buechele, has yet to have to travel into a hostile environment and start the game. Not that Cal is really THAT hostile, but I am sure it will be the biggest crowd he has ever faced that was not on his side. Things like that take a toll and make a difference. Texas needs to protect him not just from getting hit, but from putting him in positions to fail. The kid is still a freshman and will make mistakes. Limiting those mistakes are the key for Texas this Saturday. Run the ball, control the clock, and play defense. Do that and Texas walks away an easy winner.
As much as I like Texas to win this game and as much of a fan of Charlie Strong as I am, I think this game turns some heads by midnight. I do believe the Longhorns will come away winners, but for some reason I truly like the Golden Bears getting the eight points. Texas will win 42-38 and leave happy and 3-0 but Cal covers...watch.
Bob's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the California Golden Bears +8
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