|Nelly's NCAA Overlooked Opportunity - Dec. 1|
12/01/2018 Nelly's 8* #334 California + over Stanford 3:00 PM ET
Since allowing 37 points in a turnover-filled loss to UCLA at home, California closed the season on a 4-1 run with the lone loss coming at Washington State. The Bears allowed just over 14 points per game in that stretch despite playing Washington, Washington State, and USC. On the season the Bears allowed 40 fewer points in Pac-12 play than Stanford, who has been a huge disappointment this season as many felt this squad would compete for a Pac-12 title and a national playoff spot. The Cardinal managed to get to 7-4 but this squad was incredibly fortunate in three narrow Pac-12 wins and has been out-gained in six of the last nine games. Only against Oregon State did Stanford out-gain a Pac-12 foe by more than 53 yards. The Cardinal have also been out-rushed by at least 100 yards in four of the last eight games. Cal has posted far better defensive numbers in this matchup allowing 103 less yards per game compared with Stanford while stronger on a per play basis on the ground and in the air. The Bears also are nearly half a yard stronger per rush on offense despite the big names on the Stanford offense. California was -11 in turnovers in the three-game slide early in the Pac-12 season but they have not lost the turnover battle in any of the last five games. Stanford has won eight in a row in this series but the margins have been tightening in recent years including just a three-point result last season. The re-scheduling of this game make it a more demanding situation on Stanford who won narrowly at UCLA last week while California was at home. Under Justin Wilcox the Bears are 5-1 ATS as a home underdog and this should be a much bigger game for the Bears, looking to win in this rivalry for the first time since 2009.
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