|2013 ESPN2 College Football Week 1 Odds: Northwestern vs. California|
|Written by Drew Sharper|
|Friday, 30 August 2013 19:00|
Northwestern vs. Cal Odds
Northwestern is coming off a 10-3 record last season where it was an impressive 12-1 against the spread. Cal struggled to a 3-9 record in 2012 and it also went 3-9 against the spread. This is the first meeting between these two teams.
Trends show that Northwestern is 6-1 against the spread in its last 7 road games and 5-0 ATS in its last 5 non-conference games. Cal is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 home games and 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games overall.
According to oddsmakers from Bovada.lv, Northwestern is the favorite on the road, as the Wildcats have odds of -5.5 points against Cal. The over/under total for the game has been set at 60 points (View Matchup). The opening odds for this game had Northwestern favored by 6 points. The spread hit a peak of 6.5 before falling back to Northwestern -5.5. The over/under total opened at 59 points and hit a low of 58 before climbing up to 60.
Northwestern took a big step forward last season in Pat Fitzgerald’s seventh season. The Wildcats went 10-3 with a bowl win and the team returns 17 starters from that 2012 squad. Leading the way is the combo of quarterback Kain Colter and running back Venric Mark. Mark rushed for 1,366 yards and 12 scores while Colter had 894 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns while throwing for 872 yards and eight touchdowns. Northwestern must replace three starters on the line, but the team speed should cause a lot of problems for opponents. The key to the season for Northwestern will be its defense. The Wildcats were +14 in turnovers last year and allowed just 22.5 points per game. Seven starters return on defense, which includes linebacker Damien Proby, who had 112 tackles and defensive end Tyler Scott, who had nine sacks a year ago.
Cal decided to part ways with Jeff Tedford after last year’s 3-9 record and hired Sonny Dykes from Louisiana Tech. Dykes inherits a team that has 13 starters back from 2012. The coach will be working in a new quarterback, new running back and also loses Cal’s top receiver from 2012. To make matters worse, Cal has just two starters back on the offensive line. Despite Dykes’ ability to have a strong offense, it could be a work in progress for Cal. Defensively the Bears allowed 33.1 points and 441 yards per game last season. The unit returns six starters, but none that had a great impact last year. The Cal defense only had 28 sacks as a team last season and lost the turnover battle by a -7 margin.
In terms of Injuries, both teams come into the game healthy.
The Public Bets for this game are currently backing Northwestern, as the Wildcats are getting 70% of the wagers with odds of -5.5 points against Cal.