Washington vs California Odds, Picks and Predictions: Huskies Protect Perfect Over Record

After falling to the lowly Colorado Buffaloes last weekend, the Cal Golden Bears now play host to the Washington Huskies and their explosive passing offense. Between the two squads, enough offense should be mustered up to send this Over the 56-point total.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2022 7:53 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Michael Penix Jr. Washington Huskies Pac-12 college football
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 After Dark in Week 8 sees the Washington Huskies travel to Berkeley for a matchup with the California Golden Bears.

Washington shook off two straight losses to get back in the win column last week against Arizona and needs just one more win to reach bowl eligibility in Year 1 of the Kaleb DeBoer era.

Justin Wilcox and the Golden Bears bottomed out with a loss to lowly Colorado last week and will be anxious to return home and put on a strong performance.

Check out our college football picks and predictions to see how it all plays out.

Washington vs California best odds

Washington vs California picks and predictions

Cal football is not in a good place. Things turned sour a week ago when the Golden Bears handed Colorado its first win of the season. It was a lifeless performance from Justin Wilcox’s team, who lost straight up as 15.5-point favorites. 

It’s hard to discern what exactly Cal is good at this season. If you asked someone what the strengths of this team are, they’d probably reply “running the ball offensively and playing sound defense”. 

The defense has been alright, surrendering 5.5 yards per play this season while surrendering 7.5 yards per play to Arizona and 412 yards to Washington State in its two games against competent offensive attacks.

The rushing attack’s overall numbers (128.7 yards per game on 4.2 yards per play) are buoyed by an outlier performance in which they went for 354 yards and four touchdowns on a whopping 9.3 yards per carry.

Arizona has been one of the worst defenses in the nation this season, and that’s the only game where this Cal ground attack has looked good. If we remove that from the sample, Cal is averaging just 2.9 yards per rush and 83.6 yards per game. 

It’s easy to tell what Washington is good at — offense! In particular, the passing attack has been potent led by the nation’s leader in passing yards: Michael Penix Jr., who has thrown for 2,560 yards and 20 touchdowns to pair with only four interceptions.

The Huskies are averaging 42.1 points per game and 512.3 total yards per game in an offensive revival spearheaded by coach Kalen DeBoer.

The Huskies have scored at least 32 points in every game this season and have been a remarkably consistent bunch. Saturday’s game against a decent — but overrated — Cal defense should be no different.

I wrote in my preseason Pac-12 Conference Preview that Washington Overs would be worth playing this season, and that’s been the case as the Huskies are a perfect 7-0 O/U to the start the season. 

I’ll take that train to keep rolling and hope that the Golden Bears can find a spark offensively against a bad Huskies defense to contribute to the total.

My best bet: Over 56 (-110 at DraftKings)

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Washington vs California spread analysis

The spread currently sits at -7.5 in favor of the Huskies. Washington is a school that typically plays better at home than on the road, and that’s been evidenced by its 1-7 ATS record in its last eight away games.

Their 10-25 ATS record in the last 35 conference games looks concerning, but it’s worth considering that the Jimmy Lake era was a disaster and the DeBoer era is certainly off to a better start.

There is a reason for optimism in Seattle that DeBoer can bring about some change. While it’s still early, the 5-2 start is encouraging. Meanwhile, there hasn’t been much reason for optimism in Berkely.

The road team is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings, while the Huskies have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five trips to Berkeley. This is not as difficult of a place to play as some Pac-12 venues, and this might help Washington get over its road woes.

In its last two games, Cal has failed to cover the spread by 22.5 points against Colorado and by 15 points against Washington State. That’s an average cover margin of -18.8 points, and the play on the field has been just as discouraging as the results in the box score. 

Washington vs California Over/Under analysis

Kalen DeBoer teamed up with his former quarterback from their time together in Indiana and has helped Penix turn into one of the country's biggest breakout stars.

If you asked folks before the season who would lead the nation in passing yards halfway through the year, odds are you’d go a long time in your quest before you found someone who’d answer “Penix” — and the odds would be even higher that this imaginative person lived in the Seattle area. 

This Huskies offense has been a thing of beauty, ranking fifth in predicted points added (PPA) per play and 13th in success rate. A passing attack averaging a robust 380 yards per game has stolen the show.

There are three difficult receivers to cover in star Rome Odunze (693 yards, six touchdowns), along with Jalen McMillan (530 yards, five touchdowns) and Ja’lynn Polk (381 yards, four touchdowns). The rushing attack hasn also been decent in its own right, ranking 29th in rushing PPA and 30th in rushing success rate.

California has taken a step back defensively this year, ranking 77th in success rate while failing to stand out in any one category.

The Golden Bears have been dreadful offensively, ranking 110th in success rate despite their numbers being inflated from the Arizona game. The good news is that they have a faovrable matchup against a Washington defense that ranks 105th in PPA, 98th in success rate, and 102nd in explosiveness. 

Washington vs California betting trend to know

Washington is 7-0 to the Over this season. Find more NCAA betting trends for Washington vs. California.

Washington vs California game info

Location: California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA
Date: Saturday, October 22, 2022
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET

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Washington vs California weather

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