Washington vs. California: NCAAF Week 8 Picks and Predictions

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Linebacker Jackson Sirmon #8 of the California Golden Bears celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass against the Colorado Buffaloes in the second quarter of a game at Folsom Field on October 15, 2022 in Boulder, Colorado. Dustin Bradford/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Dustin Bradford / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The Pac-12 battle between Washington and California will wrap up a full slate of college football on Saturday as the Huskies invade California Memorial Stadium to take on the Golden Bears. Let’s review the college football odds, analyze this matchup, and keep cashing our NCAAF picks!

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Washington Huskies vs. California Golden Bears

Saturday, October 22, 2022 – 10:30 PM EDT at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium

Huskies Rebound at Home

After an upset loss on the road to Arizona State, Washington battled another desert-based team last week and rebounded with a 49-39 shootout victory over Arizona. But after winning and covering their first 4 games, the Huskies have now failed at the betting windows in their last 3 contests to bring their season record to 5-2 straight up and 4-3 against the spread.

Indiana transfer, Michael Penix Jr., continued his assault on opposing secondaries when he launched for a school-record 516 yards with 4 touchdowns and tallied an 8-yard rushing touchdown to boot.

Penix now has 2,560 passing yards, and 20 touchdown passes, with only 4 interceptions while completing 67.4% of his passes.

"It's not just about what he did statistically," Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said. "He just keeps putting the pressure on and leading the charge to help us win the football game. We needed all those points and all those yards that he gave us."

Bears Buffaloed in Colorado

Upsets are what makes college football so exciting, but if you’re on the wrong end of that equation, it can be devastating. And such was the case last week when California traveled to Boulder to take on the lightly regarded, and winless, Colorado Buffaloes.

The oddsmakers installed the Golden Bears as high as 15-point road favorites, but their backers knew early that getting a cover would be a tall task after they entered the second half trailing 3-0. California kicked a field goal to tie the game with no time remaining, but the overtime session saw Colorado strike for a 22-yard touchdown pass that iced the game for the Buffaloes and sent California home stunned.

Senior quarterback, Jack Plummer, was 29-of-52 for 262 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. The Bears were forced to go to the air early and often as their ground game was limited to a total of 35 rushing yards.

"It's very hard to win at this level scoring one touchdown," California coach Justin Wilcox said. "You've got to put the ball in the end zone, and credit to them. They did it more than we did."

Team Trends

  • Huskies are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss.
  • Huskies are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games.
  • Golden Bears are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss.
  • Golden Bears are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Golden Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight-up loss.
  • Golden Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.

Total Trends

  • Under is 19-7-1 in the Huskies' last 27 road games.
  • Under is 4-1 in the Golden Bears’ last 5 games overall.
  • Under is 4-1 in the Golden Bears’ last 5 games following an ATS loss.
  • Under is 24-9 in the Golden Bears' last 33 conference games.
  • Under is 13-5 in the Golden Bears' last 18 vs. a team with a winning record.

Pick and Prediction

If you’re inclined to back the home underdog in this one and Michael Penix Jr. doesn’t scare, he should. Although he’s on the outside looking in on the Heisman Trophy conversation, you can still find him at +10,000 at some of the best online sportsbooks. At that price, he might be worth a flier.

And as impressed as I am with him, I am betting against the Huskies in this one because Washington does not travel well in terms of covering the number. Washington is 0-2 straight up and against the spread on the road with losses to UCLA (40-32) as 3-point favorites and Arizona State (45-38) as 13 ½ point road chalk.

Recent History Benefits California

California has won 2 of their last 3 meetings against Washington and has covered in all 3 of those contests, including last year’s 31-24 overtime loss to the Huskies as 7.5-point road dogs.

The Huskies will be looking to attack through the air, and why not, they have the top-ranked passing attack in the nation. However, California can counter this by keeping the running game in motion, chewing up the clock, and keeping Penix on the sidelines.

We are getting value on the home hounds here with north of a touchdown and if they do cover, this game will likely go low, as it has in 3 of their last 4 meetings.

Score Prediction: Washington 26 – California 20

NCAAF Pick: California +7.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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California +7.5 (-108)
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NCAAF Pick: Under 57 (-115) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 57 (-115)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.