Cal v. USC College Football Betting Odds and Lines: Should We Expect a Close Game?
California is only a tiny underdog Saturday
California Golden Bears fans may have reason to be optimistic this week.
Despite the recent uninspired 3-10 loss against the previously winless Arizona Wildcats, Las Vegas oddsmakers believe the California Golden Bears (3-6, 2-4 Pac-12) will play a closely competitive game against the USC Trojans (4-5, 3-4 Pac-12) on Nov. 13, 2021.
The most recent Cal v. USC college football betting odds is California +1.5 and a 52.5 total, according to VegasInsider.com on Monday, Nov. 8, which aggregates legal U.S. sportsbooks’ offered odds.
The bet spread implies the California Golden Bears are about two-point underdogs against the USC Trojans. The total for “over-or-under” total score bets is 52 and one-half points.
Oddsmakers expect a close game, despite California's battered roster. The Golden Bears were without more than two dozen players, including starting quarterback Chase Garbers, because of positive COVID-19 tests early last week.
Cal Athletics declined to confirm whether Garbers had tested positive for COVID-19, only stating “he was one of seven starters who were unavailable due to illness or injury” in a prepared statement after the Arizona game.
Despite the uncertainty of whether Garbers and the other Golden Bears starters will play, bettors have started to pick California.
The Cal v. USC college football bet spread opened Sunday morning from California +1.5 to California +3 and a 52 to 53 total at various sportsbooks, according to VegasInsider.com.
The Circa Resort and Casino in downtown Las Vegas posted the first opening line on Sunday at 11:07 a.m. Pacific at California +2 and a 53 total, per the sports betting website.
As of Monday morning, Circa’s line had moved to California +1 and a 52 total.
The last time the Golden Bears beat the Trojans was on Nov. 18, 2018.
USC scored 14 unanswered points before halftime before its offense succumbed to California. The Golden Bears defense scored a safety at the start of the third quarter, and California cornerback Traveon Beck picked off Trojan JT Daniels in the third quarter, which helped ice the game for the Golden Bears in Los Angeles. Also in the third quarter, California tacked on another 13 points to win the game 15-14.
The USC Trojans have struggled this season with all five of its losses so far by two scores or more. In Week Two, the Trojans fired its head coach Clay Helton after an at-home upset against the Stanford Cardinal, 28-42.
Last week, USC also lost its star wide receiver Drake London for the rest of the season because of a fractured right ankle. Football analysts and media expect London to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft.