The UCLA Bruins take on the California Gold Bears. Check out our College Football Odds Series for our UCLA California prediction and picks.
The UCLA Bruins lost to their crosstown rivals the USC Trojans last week. They were eliminated from contention for a spot in the Pac-12 championship game. The Bruins were fully and definitively eliminated from the College Football Playoff race against Arizona a week earlier, but that loss to USC put them out of the Pac-12 title chase, the New Year’s Six Bowl Derby and a shot at a 10-win regular Season. Coach Chip Kelly was attempting to build UCLA to the point where he had led Oregon a decade earlier. Kelly won multiple conference championships and reached multiple Rose Bowls. He had a chance to raise the Bruins to the same standard but he failed. He couldn’t bring UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet to the Pac-12 title game, so UCLA must mourn their fate at 8-3 and hope they can go 9-3. An 8-4 season from an 8-1 start would be a disaster and a brutally miserable experience for a team that had a chance to achieve so much in 2022.
The California Golden Bears have already made changes looking ahead to 2023, and those changes will continue into the upcoming offseason, which begins right after this game ends. Cal head coach Justin Wilcox fired offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and also eliminated his offensive line coach. Wilcox knows he needs fresh perspectives and new ideas for his offensive team. He’s good at training defense, but he needs an offensive idea generator who can refresh the Cal program and change the Bears’ offensive results. Wilcox will pursue development and growth during the offseason in hopes of lifting Cal from mediocrity into the mid to upper ranks of the Pac-12.
The good news at Berkeley is that the Golden Bears were at least able to conquer The Ax by winning the event known as the “Big Game” (not “the” Big Game, just the two-word Big Game) won against Stanford. Cal looked like the losing team in three quarters, but it unleashed a 21-point quarter against Stanford to turn the tide. We’ll see if the Golden Bears can carry the momentum from that win into this game against a UCLA team that will be tempted to play in that final game after all of their larger goals and ambitions have been thwarted.
Here are the UCLA-California NCAA football odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: UCLA-California Odds
UCLA Bruins: -10.5 (-110)
California Gold Bears: +10.5 (-110)
Over: 61.5 (-110)
Below: 61.5 (-110)
Why UCLA could cover the spread
The Bruins have far better staff and talent than Cal. If UCLA plays anywhere near their chances, they should win this game easily. Cal doesn’t have nearly the athletic talent or physical prowess in the trenches that UCLA possesses.
Matthew Zemek ·
David Rooney ·
Guilherme Hiray Leal ·
Why California could cover the spread
The Bruins may be the better team, but Cal is flying high after beating Stanford a week ago, while UCLA is emotionally drained after losing to USC. One team enjoys playing soccer while another team is struggling with a slap in the face.
Final UCLA California Prediction and Selection
UCLA is far better, but could easily be overtaken by the USC loss. Stay away from this game, but if you insist on a choice, take UCLA.
Final UCLA California Prediction and Pick: UCLA -10.5