Nevada at California - 9/4/21 College Football Picks and Prediction
Photo by David Calvert-USA TODAY Sports
California Golden Bears (0-0) vs Nevada Wolf Pack (0-0)
Game Info: Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 10:30 pm (California Memorial Stadium)
Betting Odds: California Golden Bears -3.5 -- Over/Under: 52.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Nevada Wolf Pack will travel to California Memorial Stadium to take on the California Bears this Saturday night in College Football action.
The Nevada Wolf Pack finished last season with an overall record of 7-2 while finishing 3rd in the Mountain West with a 6-2 conference record. Nevada didn’t make it to Mountain West Championship, however, did end the season on a positive note after defeating the Tulane Green Wave, 38-27, in the Idaho Potato Bowl. Offensively, Nevada averaged 30.8 ppg on 441.4 total yards per game (319.1 passing yds/g; 122.3 rushing yds/g). Leading the way for the Nevada offense this season will be QB Carson Strong who completed 70.1% of his passes for 2858 yards, 27 TD, & 4 INT. Nevada returns their top two receivers in WR Romeo Doubs (58 rec, 1002 yards, 9 TD) & TE Cole Turner (49 rec, 605 yards, 9 TD) and welcome back Elijah Cooks who had his 2020 season cut short due to a shoulder injury in the Wolf Pack’s season opener last year. Leading the way for the Nevada backfield will be the duo of Toa Taua (114 att, 675 yards, 4 TD) & Devonte Lee (82 att, 427 yards, 2 TD).
Defensively, Nevada held their opponents to an average of 23.3 ppg on 377.7 total yards per game (239.6 passing yds/g; 138.1 rushing yds/g). Nevada’s defense should be strong against as they brough back in some solid transfers and have their complete defensive line returning led by Dom Peterson & Sam Hammond.
The California Bears struggled to get on the field last season due to Covid-19 and finished their season with just an overall record of 1-3. California was competitive in their limited action last season and did head into the offseason with some momentum after a solid 21-17 victory over the Oregon Ducks. Offensively, California averaged 20.2 ppg on 319.5 total yards (192.8 passing yds/g; 126.8 rushing yds/g). California’s offense this season will be led by the veteran QB Chase Garbers who completed 62.5% of his passes last season for 771 yards, 6 TD, & 3 INT. Garbers will have some familiar faces for his targets as WR Kekoa Crawford (19 rec, 232 yards, 2 TD), WR Nikko Remigio (10 rec, 90 yards, 2 TD), & TE Jake Tonges (12 rec, 80 yards, TD) all return for the Bears. Leading the way for the Bears backfield will be Christopher Brown Jr. who had 65 yards and a TD last season on 21 carries.
Defensively, California held their opponents to an average of 26.5 ppg on 367.0 total yards per game (197.8 passing yds/g; 169.2 rushing yds/g). California lost a few key pieces to their defense, however, still return 7 starters and should be led by LB Kuony Deng & Cameron Goode.
The Wolf Pack are 10-4 ATS in their last 19 games, however, just 2-10 ATS in their last 12 September games. The Bears are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games, however, just 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
California is a solid team that is led by a decent defense, however, their offense certainly has some question marks which could be exploited by a tough Nevada defense. Nevada has a bunch of weapons on offense and one of the most experience defenses in the country and although it’s tough to go on the road to open your season against a Power-5 school, I think Nevada is the better team here and at worst, covers with the points. Good Luck!