The Cal Golden Bears football season win total for the 2019 season has been set at over or under 6 wins. Cal is also listed at odds of 27 to 1 to win the PAC 12.
Early bettors have favored the Cal season win total to go under as shown with the current money line of -150. Over bettors get an underdog price of +110.
It didn’t take long for Justin Wilcox to turn things around at Cal, leading to a bowl game last season and 7-6 overall record. The Golden Bears were a completely different team compared to previous versions with a focus on defense taking precedent.
Chase Garbers Leads the Offense
The good news for Cal is that quarterback Chase Garbers is the hands-down No. 1 guy after throwing for 14 touchdowns and 10 picks in addition to 420 rushing yards last year. Garbers may not be a Heisman candidate, but improvement is expected for the sophomore who stole the job early last season.
The problem is figuring out what the Golden Bears have around him. Fellow sophomore Christopher Brown (148 yards) looks set to be the top running back with a mess of guys behind him including former quarterback Brandon McIlwain.
It’s a similar situation at receiver with Jordan Duncan expected to start on the outside, while former Michigan recruit Kekoa Crawford tries to find a spot in the lineup.
To help, the line could be a strong suit with Jake Curhan the leader of the group and most experienced player in the offense. Success starts with offensive lines so that’s at least a starting point for Cal.
Defense Should Remain Stout
The good news is that the defense should remain stout after allowing just 319 yards and 21.3 points per game under coordinator Tim DeRuyter. However, there are some questions up front outside of end Luc Bequette (seven sacks).
Every other position on the line could be a revolving door, while Evan Weaver (158 tackles) and Cameron Goode lead a solid linebacking corps, especially if the latter can return to normal after last year’s injury.
The secondary is set, returning every piece from a group that led the country with 21 interceptions. Safeties Ashtyn Davis and Jaylinn Hawkins run the back end, but two experienced junior corners return in Camryn Bynum and Elijah Hicks.
As long as the defense doesn’t fall off, which it shouldn’t, this team should be headed to another bowl game.
Tough Schedule Could Keep Win Total Down
But while Cal could be better in the third year under Wilcox, there are questions in the schedule. The Golden Bears don’t have things easy with five Pac-12 road games, but also a trip to Ole Miss thrown in just before the conference slate really gets started.
There’s a decent chance they lose five road games with trips to UW, Ole Miss, Oregon, Utah and Stanford. That doesn’t include the home games against Wazzu and USC, which are between the trips to Utah and Stanford in November.
Garbers could take this offense to the next level, but even with a good defense, the schedule could be too difficult to overcome. It’s hard to see the Bears breaking seven wins with six more likely due to a difficult schedule.
2019 Cal Golden Bears Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. UC Davis
Sept. 7 at Washington
Sept. 14 vs. North Texas
Sept. 21 at Ole Miss
Sept. 27 vs. Arizona State
Oct. 5 at Oregon
Oct. 19 vs. Oregon State
Oct. 26 at Utah
Nov. 9 vs. Washington State
Nov. 16 vs. USC (opened +3.5)
Nov. 23 at Stanford
Nov. 30 at UCLA