California vs Oregon Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Don't Duck Oregon Offense

Oregon's obviously elite on both sides of the ball, but does Cal have a hope of keeping pace in this Pac-12 showdown? Our college football picks have the angles for your Week 10 wagers.

JD Yonke - Contributor at
JD Yonke • Contributor
Nov 3, 2023 • 10:32 ET • 4 min read
Bucky Irving NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

College football rumbles on as Week 10 in the Pac-12 sees the California Golden Bears (3-5 overall, 1-4 Pac-12) head to Eugene to face the surging Oregon Ducks (7-1, 5-1 Pac-12). 

A failed two-point attempt changed Cal’s heading into this contest — they hung tight with USC a week ago but ultimately fell a single point short in a 50-49 loss after scoring with 58 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter but failing on the ensuing two-point try. 

In the end, it was the Bears’ fourth loss in five games. The Ducks, meanwhile. Have won two straight and are coming off a dominant road win over Utah, which marked the Utes’ first home loss since 2019. 

When looking at college football odds, you’ll see Oregon at -24 at home while the total is set at 57.5. 

Will Bo Nix and this Oregon offense keep up its torrid scoring pace in Week 10? Read on for my best bet and free college football picks and predictions for California vs. Oregon on Saturday, November 3. 

California vs Oregon best odds

California vs Oregon picks and predictions

Let’s talk about the offenses in this matchup, shall we?

It appears as though California made a good hire in offensive coordinator Jake Spavital. He’s worked with quarterbacks like Johnny Maziel and Kyler Murray in the past and Cal bought low on him after several nondescript years as the head coach at Texas State. He’s breathed life into Cal’s offense for the first time in years. The Bears check in at 56th in EPA per play and are averaging over 30 PPG (32.2) for the first time since 2016 — which uncoincidentally marks Spavital’s first run as Bears OC under head coach Sonny Dykes. 

After cycling through ineffective quarterback play from both Sam Jackson V and Ben Finley (combined 8:6 TD-to-INT ratio), Cal made the move to redshirt freshman Fernando Mendoza. He’s performed far better than anyone could have expected, completing 62.9% of his passes for 7.3 yards per attempt while tossing two touchdowns and one interception in each of his three starts. Running back Jaydn Ott (841 scrimmage yards, nine touchdowns in seven games) is the star of the show and the focal point of the offense, but his status for this matchup is unclear after he took a hard hit near the goal line at the beginning of the fourth quarter against the Trojans and did not return. 

It goes to show just how much separation Oregon has created from USC since the start of the season that the Ducks are favored by 24 points against a team that outgained the Trojans 527-497 and lost by a single point despite being -3 in turnovers. The Ducks have been dominant this season other than a nail-biting loss on the road against a Top-5 team in the Washington Huskies. The metrics simply love Oregon — the Ducks rank second in EPA per play offensively and 15th defensively. 

The offense is ridiculous for a second straight year with quarterback Bo Nix leading the fifth-most explosive passing attack. Running back Bucky Irving has 990 scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns already, while Jordan James has also found the end zone nine times and has 544 scrimmage yards. Both backs are averaging at least 7.5 yards per touch, which makes sense considering the Ducks’ dominant running game ranks first in EPA per play, first in success rate, and third in rushing explosiveness. 

Dan Lanning’s squad has to like its chances of lighting up the scoreboard against an overmatched Bears defense (121st in EPA per play, 120th in success rate). This marks the second straight season in which they’ve been 120th or worse nationally in success rate, which is a huge red flag for a team coached by someone who earned a reputation as a defensive-minded head coach in Justin Wilcox. Cal will be gashed on the ground (108th in EPA per rush, 106th in rushing success rate defensively) and is at a severe disadvantage in the trenches. Oregon’s offensive line is elite for the second year in a row, ranking first nationally in line yards and front-seven havoc, while Cal checks in at 124th in front-seven havoc and 117th in stuff rate defensively. 

Cal has been burned by good offenses repeatedly this season, surrendering 59 points to Washington, 52 points to Oregon State, and 50 to USC. Oregon holds an advantage at every level when it has the ball and is gaining momentum to make a run this season in a terrific response after the sole loss to Washington, which is a positive sign, so I expect another strong and spirited effort. Cal is a pace-up team offensively, 

This matchup will feature two offensive lines that have put up elite metrics this season, snapping the ball 77.3 times per game (ninth nationally) in Spavital’s up-tempo RPO scheme. Oregon should have plenty of opportunities to score and forecasts to have an extremely productive day moving the ball against a defense that has surrendered no less than 439 total yards or 5.9 yards per play in a conference game this season. I’ll take Oregon’s team total Over at 40.5. Cal’s offense has been good enough that Lanning won’t let off the gas if his team does have a multi-score lead as the spread indicates, as almost no margin is safe in a conference game against a competent opponent. 

My best bet: Oregon team total Over 40.5 (-120 at DraftKings)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.

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California vs Oregon same-game parlay

Oregon TT Over 40.5 (-120)

California +24 (-110)

This SGP is similar to a play on the full game Over but offers better payouts as the final odds come out to +625 odds. Oregon should find the end zone repeatedly, so I’m adding my best bet on its team total Over.

This will require Cal to keep pace, but the Bears have mostly been able to do that this season and are only improving offensively as Mendoza gains experience. He looks comfortable leading the offense and has shown poise in his two road starts. The Bears are averaging 44.5 ppg, 487 total yards, and 6.7 yards per play in his two road starts. While Oregon’s defense will be a different test altogether, I’m putting some faith in Spavital’s offense system since it’s tried and true.

Cal’s offensive line has been terrific this season, ranking third in line yards and sixth in stuff rate. Dan Lanning tipped his cap to the performance of this unit and described Cal as a much different team in past seasons, and I think he’s right. Cal’s five losses have come to teams with a combined record of 25-10 and the only time it lost by more than 24 points this season was on the road in Washington in a game where the Bears turned it over three times. 

Mendoza has been more impressive than the other Cal quarterbacks and didn’t play in that contest, so there’s some reason to expect a strong showing from this offense yet again.

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California vs Oregon spread and Over/Under analysis

California is +24 across most books, although +23.5 is also showing as of early Wednesday morning. The total opened at 60 but has received some Under money, moving down to 57.5. 

Despite the improved offense, Cal is still just 3-5 ATS on the year. That’s due mostly to a lackluster defense that ranks just 125th in EPA per play on standard downs. The Bears were on a five-game skid where they didn’t cover a spread, but broke the spell last week against the Trojans. 

Oregon has been dominant at 7-1 ATS this season. We knew the Ducks would be elite offensively again this season, but the defensive improvement was harder to see coming. A year after surrendering 27.4 ppg, they’re down to coughing up just 15.6 PPG as the nation’s 11th-best scoring defense. 

While that improvement should undoubtedly be praised and recognized, I also think it should be taken with a grain of salt considering the strength (or lack thereof) of competition. The Ducks have allowed at least 6.5 yards per play to each of the three competent offenses (Texas Tech, Washington, Washington State) they’ve faced this season. They’ve racked up dominant performances over overmatched teams like Portland State, Hawaii, Colorado, Stanford, and Utah, but have looked mortal when they don’t have a huge advantage up front. 

Cal’s offensive line has been tremendous and grades out as a Top-5 unit by some metrics. While it’s probably not as elite as those numbers suggest, it’s undoubtedly been a strength of the team and is much better than some of the teams listed above who offer turnstiles and traffic cones as their respective blocking units. I think Cal will be able to contribute to the total and side with the Over. 

California vs Oregon betting trend to know

Oregon has scored at least 41 points in three of its four home games this season. Find more college football betting trends for California vs Oregon.

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California vs Oregon game info

Location: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
Date: Saturday, November 4, 2023
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. ET

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