Northwestern Wildcats vs. California Golden Bears NCAAF Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/30/14
California Golden Bears (1-11) at Northwestern Wildcats (5-7)
College Football: Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 3:30 pm (Ryan Field)
The Line: Northwestern Wildcats -10 -- Over/Under: 62 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN2, ABC
The California Golden Bears and Northwestern Wildcats open the season with a Saturday matchup at Ryan Field.
The California Golden Bears look to bounce back from their one-win season last year, as they return 14 starters, including eight on offense. Quarterback Jared Goff enters his second season after throwing for 3,508 yards and 18 touchdowns as a freshman. Goff, who has a chance to be one of the breakthrough players in the Pac-12 this season, also has two solid receivers in Chris Harper and Bryce Treggs, who combined for nearly 150 receptions last season. Cal had the 11th best passing offense in the country last year and averaged 23 points per game. Defensively, the California Golden Bears have nowhere to go but up after ranking 125th in the country in points allowed. Cal returns six starters on defense and should get a tremendous boost on that side of the ball with defensive backs Avery Sebastian and Stefan McClure returning from injury.
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The Northwestern Wildcats look to take that next step this season after a 5-7 season last year. Northwestern should be in great hands this season with 17 starters returning, which are the third most in the country. Trevor Siemian returns at quarterback after throwing for more than 2,100 yards and 11 touchdowns. Northwestern also expects to have one of the more balanced offenses in the Big Ten with running back Venric Mark returning from injury. Last season, Northwestern was 84th in the country in points scored. The Northwestern Wildcats also have a talented and experienced defense with linebackers Chi Chi Ariguzo and Collin Ellis leading the way. Ibraheim Campbell also returns after intercepting four passes last season.
The Golden Bears are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games and 6-20 ATS in their last 26 games overall. The Wildcats are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 home games.
The spread is a little too high for my taste but what we have in this matchup are two offenses capable of putting points on the board in a hurry. I expect a lot of quick drives and a ton of points. Take the over.