[6:00 PM]#18 Utah @ California

Who will WIN this matchup?

#18 Utah Utes (4-0)

@ California Golden Bears (2-2)


Current odds:

Utah Utes: (-106)

California Golden Bears: (-106)


ESPN simulations have Utah as 61.1% favorites to win the game.

61% of sports bets are currently on Utah to win as (-106) favorites.

Utah’s impressive defense faces another stiff test Saturday as the 18th-ranked Utes visit California, which ranks third in the nation in total offense at 594.5 yards per game. The Utes improved to 4-0 for the second straight season with last Saturday’s 31-27 comeback victory over USC, while Cal yielded 41 points in the second half of a 51-41 loss at Arizona State.

Utah is second in the Pac-12 in total defense but could be without star defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei on Saturday after the junior left last week’s game with an injury. Lotulelei’s return would give the Utes a critical boost against a Cal offense that averages more than 45 points and boasts one of the nation’s top passers in Davis Webb, who leads the country in passing yards (1,387) and passing touchdowns (18).

While the Utes’ defense was expected to be among the team’s strengths, the offense has been a pleasant surprise thanks to players such as Tim Patrick, who is coming off back-to-back 100-yard receiving games. True freshman Zack Moss is averaging 92.5 rushing yards since becoming the starter two games ago, and the Utes’ offensive line didn’t allow a sack last week against the Trojans.

The Golden Bears have scored at least 40 points in each of their games but rank among the worst in the country in several defensive categories despite the play of end Cameron Saffle, who notched eight tackles and two sacks against Arizona State. While the defense remains a concern, the offense continues to put up points behind Webb and wide receiver Chad Hansen, who has six touchdowns and leads the nation with an average of 12.5 catches per game.

The Golden Bears have won six of their last seven home games.


StreakSmarts Pick: #18 Utah Utes

Confidence: 4/10

StreakSmarter Pick