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Cal Takes on Arizona State in PAC 10 Football Betting Action

10/31/09

This California Bears football team has been a very difficult team to figure out. With their star RB Jahvid Best coming back this Cal football team had a lot of pre season hype surrounding them. They started the year out ranked #12 in the nation, and after opening the season with 3 wins, including a win over Minnesota, they fought all the way to a #6 ranking before heading to Autzen Stadium to take on the Oregon Ducks. The Bears were completely dominated from start to finish and dropped that game 42-3. They followed that up with another dominating loss to USC 30-3.

After back to back losses this Cal team was at a crossroads for their season. They could put those games behind them and move on to the next game or they could let the wheels come off for this season and dwell on those two losses. You have to give credit to Cal Coach Jeff Tedford he has done a great job with getting his team past those games, and focused on the rest of the season. In their next two games Cal defeated UCLA 45-26 and Washington State 49-17, and really need to keep the momentum going with their next game against Arizona State. Arizona State always seems to be the team in the Pac 10 that cannot quiet get things going, but they are always a dangerous team. Cal is going to have to keep playing their best if they are going to be able to go down to Sun Devil Stadium, and come away with the victory.

PRIMETIME MATCHUP


This Arizona State offense has had problems moving the ball down the field, so they have had to rely on their stout defense to win them games. Arizona State is #1 in the Pac 10 in total defense allowing just 280 yards per game. This is going to be a very intriguing matchup between the Arizona State defense led by freshman Linebacker Vontaz Burfict, and the Cal rushing attack led by RB Jahvid Best. This Arizona State defense is #2 in the Pac 10 in rush defense allowing just 83 yards per game, and the Cal offense is #1 in the Pac 10 in rush offense averaging 216 yards a game, so something has to give.

The main difference between the Cal team that has won 5 games, and the Cal team that has lost 2 games is Jahvid Best. In Calís 5 wins Jahvid Best is averaging 135 yards and 2 TD per game on an average of 17 carries. In their two losses Best was held to games of 16 carries for 55 yards and 14 carries for 47 yards. The moral of the story is if you stop Best you win the game. Best is the key to opening up this offense for their QB Kevin Riley also. In those two losses where Best struggled Riley threw for under 200 yards in both of those games and didnít throw a single TD pass in those two games.

When the opposing team stops the running game it takes away the play action pass which makes QB Kevin Rileyís life a lot more difficult. If this Sun Devil defense is able to slow down Best, and put Riley into bad situations they will put their offense into good situations to score which is exactly what you need when you have a struggling offense.

THE FINAL VERDICT


Which California Bear football team is going to show up this Saturday? The team that opens up holes for Jahvid Best and allows him to have a big game or the team that gets beat off the ball and doesnít give Best a chance to be effective? This is a very tough Arizona State defense, and you can bet that they are going to stack the box and do everything possible to slow down Jahvid Best. The only problem for this Sun Devil team is that their offense is going to continue to struggle so their defense is going to be on the field most of the game.

We expect Arizona Stateís defense to have some success in the first half slowing down Best and the Bear offense, but that defense is going to get tired in the 2nd half, and thatís when Best is going to be most effective, and he will put this game away.

It's difficult to advise getting involved with Jekyl and Hyde teams like Cal from a betting standpoint. Handicapping games is tough enough when you get a 100% effort from both squads. With that being said, Cal is the better, more capable team here. If both teams show up and play to their full potential, Cal takes it. California -6.5

 

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