Fashion an impressive first year for head coach Justin Wilcox and California expectations are on the rise. True, the Golden Bears did not bowl last year but they showed improvement. Best of all they have a ton of experience returning for a run at the post season. As a consequence, Cal has become a trendy pick with the college football betting odds. Balanced against that was a big step back by North Carolina last year. To be exact their four-season bowl streak was snapped. And their three wins were the program’s fewest since 2006.
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. California Golden Bears
Date and Time: Saturday, September 1, 2018, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California
College Football Betting Online Odds at SBG:
|North Carolina||+7½ (-125)||61 (-110)|
|California||-7½ (+105)||61 (-110)|
North Carolina vs. Cal TV Coverage: FOX
Although it is true that North Carolina is coming off a terrible season it was likely rock bottom. Head coach Larry Fedora has posted four winning seasons in six years on the job. By reason of his strong recruiting a resurgence with the college football betting odds is possible. Account of a highly skilled offense adds to the optimism. Although it slipped last year it was ravaged by injuries. By reason of skill position superiority, the unit should show well. Fedora is an offensive minded coach that usually fields explosive squads.
North Carolina Tar Heels
In the same way the defense has nowhere to go but up. Supplementing improvement will be an experienced defensive line. Most important of all UNC must cut down on big plays allowed. They were lit up like a Christmas tree by enemy offenses last year. Further injuries decimated the defense last year. Equally important are the suspensions to 13 players for selling team issued Jordans.
California Golden Bears
Counter to previous years California showed dramatic improvement on defense last year. Granted, they should have, as Wilcox made his name as Wisconsin defensive coordinator. The reverse of previous teams where there was no defense nearly got Cal to a bowl. To differentiate the Bears lost three games by a combined total of seven points. Just one win in those games would have meant post season action for Cal. Overall Wilcox cut 14 points per game allowed off the 2016 team average. On the whole it was a stunning improvement. Of great concern is major losses with the front seven.
Team vs Team
North Carolina has been an abysmal sportsbook value as a road dog. In brief they have paid in just one of their last 11 in that role. After that four of their last six as away pups went under the total. Another poor track record comes from California. To begin with the Golden Bears are 2-6 vs. the line as home favorites. Just one of their last ten in that situation have gone under the total.
Matchup to Watch
To begin with, these teams have a lot of unknowns. Consequently, the underdog rates a look with the college football betting odds. Further, public reaction to the UNC suspensions has inflated the Cal price. For that reason, North Carolina and its offense should stay within the number.
College Football Betting Odds Picks
In conclusion North Carolina is getting a sack of points that should prove valuable.
North Carolina vs. California Pick: North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina vs. California Score Prediction: Tar Heels 28, Golden Bears 27
Watch North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora address recent player suspensions.