Cal vs North Texas Prediction - College Football Picks 9/2/23

North Texas Mean Green (0-0) vs California Golden Bears (0-0)

Game Info: Saturday, September 2, 2023 at 4:00 pm (DATCU Stadium)

Betting Odds: North Texas Mean Green +7 -- Over/Under: 55.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The California Golden Bears and North Texas Mean Green face off on Saturday in a Week 1 college football showdown at Apogee Stadium.

Huge Opportunity for North Texas

Not often does a Pac-12 team go on the road to play a game at a team like North Texas, but that’s what is happening here. Eric Morris has taken over this North Texas team after finding a whole lot of success at Incarnate Word. Under center this year for North Texas will be Chandler Rogers who had a ton of success at Louisiana Monroe. Not only is he a good passer, he also is good with his feet. The strength of this offense also should be with the offensive line that did a great job of keeping the quarterback upright last year. After being a young defense last year, they have gotten a year older, and they should be better. This is going to be a good test for the defense right out of the gate going against Cal. 

North Texas Betting Preview

  • North Texas has lost each of its last nine September games as an underdog.
  • North Texas has failed to cover the spread in each of its last five September games as a home underdog.
  • North Texas has won the first quarter in nine of its last 12 games against non-conference opponents at DATCU Stadium.
  • North Texas has won the first half in three of its last four home games against non-conference opponents.
  • Four of North Texas' last five home games against non-AP-ranked teams have gone OVER the total points line.

Is Sam Jackson the Answer?

Sam Jackson was brought in from TCU during the offseason to lead the offense at quarterback, and the expectation is he can help improve Cal. He is a good passer who also should be dynamic with his feet. Four starters are back on the offensive line but at times they were inconsistent last year, and they are going to need to be more consistent this season. Justin Wilcox is a defense first coach, but the defense wasn’t good enough last year. They struggled to get the pass rush going, and they can get that going here, Cal is going to have a great opportunity to put on a show. 

Cal Betting Preview

  • California has lost each of its last six road games.
  • California has covered the spread in seven of its last eight road games in September.
  • California has won the first half in 15 of its last 18 games against non-conference opponents.
  • Four of California's last five season openers as a favorite have gone UNDER the total points line.

Shane’s Free Pick

People are going to be overlooking California this season, and I think they are going to be very impressive here, even on the road. Sam Jackson is the real deal under center for them, and he’s going to have a huge game here. Even if this game becomes a shootout, North Texas is not going to be able to keep up, and this is going to be a game where Cal will get the job done. Back Cal against the spread. 

Shane’s Pick California -7

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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