Sportsbooks Bearish On Cal Clawing Its Way To Playoff

Posted on August 28, 2019 - Last Updated on October 4, 2019

Cal was a program on the rise in a loaded Pac-12 North last season. Legal sportsbooks around the country don’t expect the Bears to come charging out of hibernation, going by the 2020 Cal College Football Playoff odds.

Cal does return most of its starters from one of the conference’s best defenses in 2018. Without similar improvements on the offensive side of the ball, however, challenging for Pac-12 supremacy will be difficult.

Cal 2020 College Football Playoff odds: offseason recap

The Bears return a secondary that regularly mauled opponents’ receivers. Cal’s linebacking corps might actually be better with the healthy return of redshirt junior Cameron Goode on the outside.

As easy as it is to picture the Bears’ defense as a fearsome beast, the offense could be viewed as a dormant animal.

Redshirt sophomore Chase Garbers has competition at the quarterback spot from redshirt junior transfer Devon Modster. On top of that, Cal’s best receiving options from 2018 are gone.

Seniors Jordan Duncan and Jeremiah Hawkins are the most experienced receivers on the roster now, but the pair has combined for just 51 receptions, 665 yards and seven touchdowns so far. The Bears need their young offensive line to take a step forward in 2019 as well, a fact that goes for the entire offensive unit.

Pair that fact with a rough Pac-12 North schedule and you get low expectations from sportsbooks.

Breaking down the 2020 Cal College Football Playoff odds

While California sports betting remains illegal pending a potential constitutional amendment, there are options for Californians.

Las Vegas continues to welcome Californians as it always has. There is a new option, however, as legal books in Oregon will launch soon.

Vegas has Cal 1000/1 to win the 2020 College Football Playoff. Other books that would probably love to take part in legal sports betting in California are on the same page:

  • DraftKings +50000
  • FanDuel +40000
  • PointsBet +30000
  • William Hill +50000

DraftKings and SugarHouse have action available on whether the Bears will be selected as one of the four playoff teams. The current line on that at both books is +12500.

The committee is unlikely to select Cal unless it wins its conference. Many of the books mentioned above have odds on that as well.

Other Cal futures: Pac-12 conference title and win total

The best line currently available on the Bears winning the Pac-12 championship game is on PointsBet. Those odds currently sit at +6000.

FanDuel has a line of +2500 on Cal qualifying for the Pac-12 title game by winning the North Division. That’s the best action on that bet right now.

If the Bears do claim the North, it will mean they surpassed their win expectancy. Books vary between 5.5 and six wins for Cal this season.

The best odds available with the over/under set at six are on DraftKings and SugarHouse. The over at those books pays out +160.

FanDuel and PointsBet both set their win total for the Bears at 5.5 but differ from there. FanDuel wants bettors to take the over by offering +115. PointsBet encourages bettors to take the under with a line of +100.

Cal could be on the verge of becoming a legitimate contender in the Pac-12 North if it can sustain its success on defense and bring the offense up to the same level. Books don’t expect that to happen this season, however.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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