No. 4 Washington Huskies (8-0 SU, 4-4 ATS) at California Golden Bears (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Saturday, November 5, 10:30PM EST (7:30PM PST)
Where: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA.
by Wilson, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UW -17/CAL +17
Over/Under Total: OFF
The Washington Huskies survived at Utah last week 31-24 thanks to a late game punt return for a touchdown that propelled the dogs to their 8th consecutive win of this season. The Huskies also maintained their No. 4 ranking in the top 25. Despite the win, the Huskies will likely need to win-out the rest of their schedule to be considered for the BCS Championship game as they have arguably the easiest schedule of all other BCS contenders which include Alabama, Michigan, and Nebraska. This weekend the Huskies travel to Berkeley to take on the California Golden Bears who are recovering from a 45-24 beat down from USC last week. Both the Dogs and the Bears are averaging 40 plus points per game but it is the Husky’s defense that will be the huge difference in this contest—UW’s D only allows 15.8 points per game to Cal’s 41.8 per contest. Although Cal has shown signs of being a quality football team it is their defense that ultimately lets them down. If the Huskies are playing their type of football and remain healthy this week they should get their 9th win of the season in Berkeley. The sports books already have UW as 17 point road favorite.
If the Washington Huskies stick to protocol they should be just fine this week, but after a scare last weekend in Salt Lake City anything is possible—playing on the road back to back is tough. It will be the Husky’s defense that secures this game—they will need to address a couple of key game components—pressure Cal QB Davis Webb and plug the secondary to take away passing lanes. Webb is a dangerous QB if given enough time to dissect defenses. He has 29 TDs and 2,914 passing yards. If the Huskies can keep Webb in check they will cruise to a W. The Bears will have trouble running on the Huskies; even though the Bears are not a run-first squad they will need to establish some kind of run threat to keep the Dogs somewhat guessing.
The Washington Huskies might be back as one the premier programs in the country but they still have a long ways to go. Head Coach Chris Petersen is as humble of a guy as you can know, and he knows all too well how quickly fans, media, and boosters can turn on you if the Ws don’t keep coming, that said, Petersen has his guys on a Vision Quest (Terry Davis, ’79) to make their mark on college football this season—so far, so good! Husky QB Jake browning is having a terrific season with 28 TDs, 1,895 passing yards to just 2 INTs. UW RB, Myles Gaskin, also has game-breaking speed and moves out of the backfield to make Cal respect the run as well as the pass. California is 2-2 ATS as the underdog and they have a 2-1-1 home ATS record. UW is 1-2 ATS on the road and they are 4-4 ATS as the favorite.
Injuries: Cal’s top wide receiver, Chad Hanson, who missed the USC game, has an ankle/foot injury and is listed as questionable as of this writing. Also, Cal’s OL Aaron Cochran is out due to a foot injury. Washington LB Joe Mathis is out with a foot injury but he hasn’t registered any stats in the last two games. These teams will get after it no doubt, but it will be extremely difficult for the California Bears to contain the Huskies balanced attack not to mention their special teams play. Husky’s sophomore QB Jake browning will be matched up against Cal’s senior QB Davis Webb which could make for a classic showdown between two of the Pac 12’s best QBs. However, it will be the Huskies who come out on top in this contest. Last weekend was a wakeup call for Washington as they barely hung on to beat Utah—that won’t happen this week—the Huskies show up and remind everyone in the country that they are for real! Huskies cover the points and down the Golden Bears 48-21.
I like the Huskies to win.
Wilson's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Huskies cover and win. Luck to ya.
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