Cal v. UCLA College Football Betting Odds: Cal Opens As A Favorite

Golden Bears face-off against the Bruins with less than two days' notice

Las Vegas oddsmakers had some late-night work Friday.

The first betting lines for the rescheduled Pac-12 college football match-up between the California Golden Bears (0-0) and UCLA Bruins (0-1) went up with California at -2.5 and a 55.5 total.

In short, California is a two-and-a-half-point favorite over UCLA. The total for over or under bets is 55 and one-half. The Westbook SuperBook was the first Las Vegas sportsbook to post a line, which it did at 7:46 p.m. PT, according to VegasInsider.com, an aggregator of Las Vegas and other legal sportsbook operators.

Cal is also a favorite at Circa Sports, the sportsbook at the newly-opened Circa Resort and Casino in downtown Las Vegas. The Golden Bears opened there at -1.5 and a total of 56 at 8:06 p.m. PT Friday.

California travels to Pasadena, Calif., Saturday afternoon for a 9 a.m. PT kick-off against the UCLA Bruins in the Rose Bowl the next day.

Although the Golden Bears have less than two days’ notice to prepare against the Bruins, California may be favorites because of its steady improvements over the last four years.

Justin Wilcox starts the strange 2020 college football season as the fourth-year head coach of the California Golden Bears. In three seasons, he boasts a 0.526 winning season with a 20-18 record: 5-7 (2017), 7-6 (2018) and 8-5 (2019). Already, Coach Wilcox is the fourth-most “winningest” coach at Cal by record.

Last week, the Colorado Buffaloes (1-0) stomped the UCLA Bruins 48-42 at home in Boulder, Colo., despite UCLA junior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson throwing for 303 yards and five touchdowns. Thompson-Robinson also ran for 109 yards on nine carries, with one of his five touchdowns coming on the ground.

The Bruins could not overcome their sloppy play. Colorado benefited from four UCLA turnovers in the first half, including a forced fumble on a punt that gave the Buffaloes a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

The home team went into halftime with a 35-14 lead.

UCLA fans likely hoped for more from their special teams’ play. The Bruins took points off the board for Colorado by blocking the Buffaloes’ second field goal attempt but still came up short on Saturday night.

With less than two minutes to play in regulation, UCLA could not recover an onside kick, ending their comeback bid.