Stanford owns five consecutive wins in the rivalry with Cal, going 4-1 against the spread. The Cardinal hope to extend that run to six straight and clinch a berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game in the process when they host the 95th edition of the Big Game on Saturday out on the Farm.
Point spread: Cardinal opened as 12.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
The Bears just snapped a four-game losing streak last week and became bowl-eligible for the first time in four seasons with a 54-24 romp over Oregon State, covering 21 points. Cal led 24-3 late in the first half and pushed it to 37-10 early in the third quarter. Cal allowed the Beavers to pull within 20 points with 20 minutes to go but secured the cash by scoring the last 10 points of the game.
For the day, the Bears outgained OSU 760-398, as quarterback Jared Goff threw for 453 yards and six scores. And most of the Beavers’ yardage came in garbage time.
Cal is still struggling a bit on defense, but offensively, it ranks 14th in the country in total yardage while averaging 37 points per game.
Stanford had won eight games in a row, with seven covers, but lost last week at home to Oregon 38-36. The Cardinal led at the half 23-21, fell down 35-23 and pulled to within two points on a short Kevin Hogan touchdown pass with just 10 seconds to go. But they came up short on the conversion attempt and lost outright as eight-point home favorites.
Stanford outgained the Ducks 506-436 and won time of possession by a lopsided 42-18 margin but gave up three long Oregon scoring plays and lost two fumbles in the fourth quarter, the second coming inside the Oregon red zone with two minutes to go.
Prior to that, the Cardinal had won their first seven conference games by an average of 19 points per outing, outrushing all seven opponents by 140 yards per outing. Stanford’s running game might just eat Cal’s run defense alive.
Stanford has won five Big Games in a row, four of them by at least 18 points. And coming off last week’s loss, the Cardinal might be prime for a rebound, as they seek to sew up the Pac-12 North. The smart money here sides with Stanford.
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