California vs UCLA Picks and Predictions: Bowl Bound Bears?

The California Golden Bears are surging and pushing for bowl eligibility to close out the season but to keep that hope alive, they need to knock off the UCLA Bruins. Find out if Cal can do so with our college football betting picks.

JD Yonke - Contributor at
JD Yonke • Contributor
Nov 26, 2021 • 19:02 ET • 5 min read
Chase Garbers Cal Golden Bears college football
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins look to put a stamp on their best season under Chip Kelly yet, as they seek win number eight on the season.

The California Golden Bears have been surging, winning three of their last four games. They still need wins over UCLA and USC to reach bowl eligibility. 

Both teams enter on a high note having blown out rivals in the previous week (Cal over Stanford, UCLA over USC). Will the Bears inch closer toward bowl eligibility, or will the Bruins keep rolling?

Check out our full picks and predictions for the California Bears vs. the UCLA Bruins on Saturday, November 27 to find out.

California vs UCLA odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

UCLA opened -7 but currently sits at -6.5. The total has taken some money to the Over, moving from 57.5 to 58.5. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.

California vs UCLA predictions

Predictions made on 11/26/2021 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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California vs UCLA game info

Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Date: Saturday, November 27, 2021
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

California vs UCLA betting preview


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.

Key injuries

California: Damien Moore (Questionable), Jeremiah Hunter WR (Questionable), Will Craig OL (Questionable), Kuony Deng LB (Out).
UCLA: Chase Griffin QB (Questionable), Brittain Brown RB (Questionable), Ale Kaho LB (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Golden Bears are 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games as a road underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for California vs. UCLA.

California vs UCLA picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Bears have quietly been on a little roll, winning three of their last four games. The one loss in that span appears ugly on the surface (10-3 loss to Arizona), but can be taken with a grain of salt considering numerous starters and coaches were out due to COVID protocol. The number of inactive players became so many that the following game against USC had to be rescheduled for the end of the season.

How did Cal respond after the impromptu break? By soundly trouncing rival Stanford 41-11. It was a dominant performance in which the Bears won the yardage battle 636 to 290. This team has found its groove under coach Justin Wilcox after some early-season struggles.

The Bruins have been much improved in 2021, but still have their weaknesses. Namely, a porous secondary ranking 118th in the country allowing 272.5 passing yards per game allows opposing offenses to remain in the game. Even if the Bruins grab an early lead, at what point does it feel safe given the secondary’s propensity for allowing chunk plays?

The Bears have been pesky, sitting at 4-0 ATS against teams with a winning record. The Bruins, meanwhile, have not relished the home favorite role, going just 4-10 ATS in the last 14 such instances.  

Both teams have found their stride late in the season, but the spread is the great equalizer. We’ll take the points with the underdog in what could be a competitive Pac-12 showdown.

Prediction: California +6.5 (-110)

It’s no secret: UCLA wants to run the ball. The Bruins have the 19th ranked rushing attack in the country, averaging 214 yards per game. The issue in this matchup is that Cal has been effective against the run all season, ranking 26th in the country with only 125.4 yards per game allowed. The Bears should be able to slow down what the Bruins do best. 

While we like Cal plus the points and acknowledge the Bruins are weak on the defensive end, it’s not as if this Bears team typically piles points on the scoreboard. They’ve scored more than 30 points only three times this season. 

The Under has been very profitable in this matchup, going 10-1 in the last 11 meetings between these two schools. We see that trend continuing here.

Prediction: Under 58.5 (-110)

The Underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings between these two schools. We see that trend continuing here in a close matchup where one team is getting nearly a touchdown worth of points.

The Bears have been profitable as a road underdog for quite some time now, and they’ll be fighting hard in a quest to reach bowl eligibility. 

Pick: California +6.5 (-110)

College football parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our California vs. UCLA picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college football parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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