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NCAAF Week 13 Cal at UCLA Betting Preview

Bears Try to Reach Bowl Eligibility on the Road

It’s hard to determine who the Cal at UCLA betting matchup in week 13 means more to. On one hand the Golden Bears (5-6) can get bowl eligible with a victory, but at the same time the Bruins (7-4) are trying to improve on the status of their postseason game while also aiming to finish the regular season 5-1 on their home turf.

It’s no shocker that UCLA is a -9.5 favorite at home on Saturday night, but the Bruins are in a letdown spot after beating rival USC 38-20 last week. Cal has also won two in a row which wouldn’t make taking the points that bad of an option, which is the route 59% of the betting public is taking.

Why Cal Has Value at +9.5

The Bears have some momentum going, beating Washington State 42-39 and Stanford 27-15 the last two games to cover the number in both contests. It’s hard to give the Golden Bears that many points considering they are a top 30 team in the country in rush offense which gives them the ability to keep the UCLA offense off the field.

The player behind Cal’s rushing success is Jaydn Ott, who is 12th in the nation with 1,182 rush yards to go along with 11 scores on the ground. Ott is hot down the stretch as well with 150+ yards rushing in three of his last four.

It’s weird that the rivalry game between USC and UCLA isn’t the regular season finale for both teams, but although the Trojans are done until their bowl game this almost seems like an extra random game for the Bruins. It wouldn’t be a shocker at all if UCLA came out flat after getting the big 38-20 victory at the Coliseum last Saturday as +5 point underdogs.

Why UCLA Has Value at -9.5

Maybe the Bruins are in a letdown spot after the win over USC – or maybe they have washed the stink off after losses to Arizona (27-10) and Arizona State (17-7) before the victory over the Trojans. Last Saturday’s victory over Southern Cal was the third most points the Bruins have scored all season so they are on the up and up.

Ott seems to be a great running back for Cal, but the Golden Bears running game also plays into the strength of the Bruins defense which ranks 2nd in the country giving up just 64.6 yards/game. Some times a stat like comes from teams being able to pass all over a squad and not needing to run the football, but the Bruins are 12th in the nation while allowing just 298.7 yards/game which includes 234.1 on the ground. Plus the Golden Bears have been a rotating door at QB this season and they throw for just 217.0 yards/game.

When you think a Chip Kelly team you think wide open and fast paced, but these Bruins play defense and also run the football very well ranking 15th in the country at 202 yards/game on the ground. The Cal offense isn’t great, and they’ll have even less chances to cover the number with the amount of clock UCLA chews up when they have the ball.

Free Cal at UCLA Betting Pick

UCLA would be dumb not to gameplan around stopping Ott on Saturday night, but it’s hard not to overlook the Bruins being in a letdown spot after last week’s win over USC. UCLA has won 8 of the last 10 in this series, but there’s a huge trend that sticks out which is the ‘under’ hitting in 10 straight matchups. With both teams being a bit iffy in the passing game and relying on the run, it’s time to bet on a low scoring game once again.

Free Pick: Under 51.5

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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