The 20th-ranked California Golden Bears will look to keep their four-team playoff hopes alive when they visit a UCLA Bruins team that has seen their season take a couple of steps in the wrong direction recently by dropping two straight coming into this Pac-12 pairing.
The college football week 8 odds have the UCLA Bruins as 3.5-point favorites to beat the Cal Golden Bears. Now, let’s find out if the Bears can pull off the big upset and bring home the bacon on Saturday at the Rose Bowl!
A Closer Look At The No. 20 California Golden Bears vs. UCLA Bruins College Football Week 8 Odds & Betting Preview
What: No. 20 California Golden Bears (5-1) at UCLA Bruins (4-2)
When: Thursday, October 22, 2015
Kickoff: 9:00 PM ET
Where: Pasadena, CA
Stadium: Rose Bowl
Weather: 77° F | More Sun Than Clouds
Spread: UCLA -3.5
Moneyline: Cal +145 vs UCLA -165
Game Total: 65.5
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: California vs UCLA
Bet The California Golden Bears at +3.5 because…
The 20th-ranked Golden Bears came up just short in their quest to pull off the upset over now No. 3 Utah as gifted quarterback Jared Goff had a miserable game against Utah’s stout defense as the Bears fell 30-24. The likely No, 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft was limited to just 25 of 47 passes for 340 yards with two touchdowns and a whopping five interceptions.
“I never really thought I wavered. They made plays and we didn’t,” Goff said. “Again, that was how many days ago . . . we’re over it. I’m over it. We’re ready to move on and play well against UCLA.”
Despite throwing four first-half interceptions, the Bears hung around by limiting the Utes to just two second-half field goals while forcing three turnovers to increase their total to a nation’s best 21.
The Bears will be well-rested after getting a bye in Week 7 and have a well-balanced offense that ranks inside the top 40 across the board, including scoring (34.8 ppg, 37th).
“It’s been nice having a bye week, not having a game or stuff leading up to it,” he said. “Just being able to relax and kind of get away from it for a day or two is nice.”
Bet The UCLA Bruins at -3.5 Because…
UCLA has dropped two consecutive games and hopes to keep their 2015 season from going completely down the drain by getting the much-needed win at home in this contest.
The Bruins have dropped two straight in falling to Arizona State 38-23 two weeks ago and at Stanford, 56-35 on Saturday. Jim Mora’s young squad got smacked around on both sides of the ball as freshman quarterback Josh Rosen tossed two picks in the loss and the Bruins’ defense allowed Stanford running back Christian McCaffery to rush for a stunning 243 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries while Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan tossed three touchdown passes.
"Frustrating," Rosen said of the outcome. "I really wanted to beat this team, really wanted to make a statement."
UCLA has given up a whopping 502 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in their two recent losses.
"It’s hard to go on the road, have a pick-six, have a 96-yard kickoff return, have 10 penalties and try to win," Mora said.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
I like UCLA and Jim Mora, but I believe the Bruins are probably a year away from being really competitive. While Josh Rosen is clearly talented and the undeniable future of the Bruins program moving forward, he’s also an inexperienced first-time starter that is experiencing the typical growing pains that every first-time starting quarterback generally does.
Having said that, let me also say that I like the Cal Bears to get the win behind their experienced signal-caller – and underrated defense. Cal allows a respectable 24.5 points per game to rank 60th overall, but the Bears also average a stellar 40.2 points per game to rank 12th in the country.
Even though they’re playing at home, I’m completely surprised that UCLA is favored in this Week 8 matchup. I think Cal’s opportunistic defense will force UCLA’s Rosen into at least one costly turnover and possibly two while getting a fine performance out of Jared Goff en route to the outright road win and accompanying ATS cover.
The Golden Bears are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games, 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning record and an identical 5-2 ATS in their last 7 matchups against UCLA. Conversely, the Bruins are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games following an SU loss and a discouraging 1-3-1 ATS in their last five home games.
I am picking Cal as the smart college football week 8 bet to beat UCLA. My final score prediction is: California 35 UCLA 28.