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Will Cal Win More Football Games Than Betting Sites Expect?

CBS Sports analyst suggests we bet the 'over' on Cal, whose over/under betting line is set for a .500 season
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Will Cal football surpass the expectations of betting sites in 2021?

David Cobb of CBS Sports believes it will. He writes that Cal will finish on the “over” side of the over/under of six wins sets for the Golden Bears by the William Hill Sportsbook.

But not by much.

Much of the discussion surrounding the Pac-12 this preseason is the cushy conference schedule USC has this season. The Trojans play neither of the Pac-12 North favorites Oregon and Washington, so USC and Clay Helton should have no excuses if it fails to win the Pac-12 South.

Cal, meanwhile, must play Oregon, Washington and USC in 2021, making its bid to win the Pac-12 North difficult.

However, Cobb picks seven games he expects Cal to win, putting the Bears one game on the plus side of the over/under of six. So Cobb says bet the over. Of course, Cal probably will not be satisfied with the 7-5 overall record and a 5-4 conference record that Cobb projects. The Bears figure that with Chase Garbers beginning his fourth season as Cal’s starting quarterback (and his second in Bill Musgrave’s system) and a defense that promises to be solid, especially with the anticipated addition of defensive lineman Luc Bequette, they should challenge Washington and Oregon for the top spot n the North.

Here is CBS Sports’ analysis of Cal

Over/under 6 wins

Wins: Nevada, Sacramento State, Washington State, Colorado, Oregon State, at Arizona, at Stanford

Losses: at TCU, at Washington, at Oregon, USC, at UCLA

Analysis: Seeking grand conclusions from Cal's 1-3 season last year is a fool's errand since few programs were impacted by the pandemic as much as the Bears. There is a nice nucleus of super seniors returning, and it's hard to imagine the offense being any worse than it was last season under first-year coordinator Bill Musgrave. The defense is usually solid under coach Justin Wilcox, and with a full offseason under Musgrave in the books, the offense should be competent enough to get the Bears to seven wins. Pick: Over (+100)

Odds of +100 mean a $10 bet on Cal to get to seven wins would net the bettor $20 if the Bears do in fact win seven games or more.

So Cobb suggests we bet the over for Cal, and so does Cal Sports Report.

Here is how Cobb sees the prospects of the other 11 Pac-12 teams vs. the over/under provided by William Hill Sportsbook (except for Arizona State, whose over/under was set by Vegas Insider). We add our two cents to each pick.

---Arizona: Over/under 2.5 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Under (-110)

Our two cents: Over. CBS Sports sees only one win for the Wildcats, who will be bad but should luck into three wins for new coach Jedd Fisch.


---Arizona State: Over/under 9 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Under (-113)

Out two cents: Under. We expect the Sun Devils to get more than the six wins projected by CBS Sports, but eight victories may be the limit.


---Colorado: Over/under 4.5 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Under (-120)

Our two cents: Under. The Buffaloes may not even get the four wins CBS Sports expects.


---Oregon: Over/under 9 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Over (-120)

Our two cents: Pass. Ducks likely to wind up with nine wins, so don't bet this one.


---Oregon State: Over/under 4.5 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Under (+100)

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Our two cents: Over. We can't say which five games the Beavers will win, but they seem to win games they are not expected to win under Jonathan Smith.


---Stanford: Over/under 4 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Over (-110)

Our two cents: Over. It's hard to imagine a David Shaw team finishing worse than 5-7.


---UCLA: Over/under 7 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Over (-110)

Our two cents: Pass. We cannot see the Bruins getting the nine wins CBS Sports projects, and 7-5 seems about right considering their conference schedule includes games against Oregon and Washington. Don' bet this one.


---USC: Over/under 8.5 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Over (+105)

Our two cents: Under. With their favorable conference schedule, the Trojans should win the 10 games CBS Sports expects. But they'll find a way to lose at least two games they should win.


---Utah: Over/under 8.5 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Over (-120)

Our two cents: Under. It's risky to bet against Kyle Whittingham exceeding expectations, but . . . 


---Washington: Over/under 9 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Over (+110)

Our two cents: Under. We're just not sold on Huskies' offense.


---Washington State: Over/under 6 wins

CBS Sports Pick: Under (-110) 

Our two cents: Under. Cougars will do better than the three wins CBS Sports assigns to them, but not much better.


Cover photo of Cal's Nikko Remigio by Kelley L Cox, USA TODAY Sports

Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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