Arizona State at California Prediction - College Football Picks 9/30/23

California Golden Bears (2-2) vs Arizona State Sun Devils (1-3)

Game Info: Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 3:00 pm (FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium)

Betting Odds: California Golden Bears -9.5 -- Over/Under: 51 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Arizona State Sun Devils will head up to Berkeley to face the California Golden Bears in conference play this Saturday from California Memorial Stadium on the Pac-12 Network. Arizona State and Cal faced off in every season 1978-2013, before conference realignment altered their head-to-head series. This will be the 35th meeting, and the series is tied, 17-17, after ASU took the last two meetings back in 2016 and 2019.

Arizona State Sun Devils Preview

Arizona State fell to 1-3 after losing to USC in Tempe by a pair of touchdowns, 42-28. The Sun Devils fought admirably versus the Trojans in their conference opener, and they’ll attempt to finish the mission this go around against Cal. The ASU offense is scoring 16.8 ppg, while passing for 213.5 ypg, rushing for 94.3 ypg, and converting 35.6% of their third downs.

ASU Player Notes

Drew Pyne put up a fight versus Southern Cal, passing for 221 yards with a pair of scores and a pick. The former Notre Dame QB brings plenty of experience to the position, but after taking eight sacks last week, it’s clear he doesn’t have the same rugged protection in front of him in Tempe. 

Cameron Skattebo provided a pair of big plays and totaled 190 yards (111 rush, 79 rec) in the loss to SC. The junior back has surpassed the 60-yard mark on the ground in three of the first four games, and he leads ASU in rushing with 259 yards on 56 touches.

• Junior wideout Elijhah Badger caught nine passes for 88 yards and a score against the Trojans, and he leads the Sun Devils in receptions (18) and receiving yards (213). 

• The ASU defense is allowing 29.7 points per game.

 

California Golden Bears Preview

Cal comes in at 2-2 after falling to Washington in Seattle, 59-32.  The Golden Bears were no match for Michael Penix Jr. and the Huskies, and they’ll look to respond here at home. The Cal offense is scoring 32.9 ppg, while passing for 237.3 ypg, rushing for 216.3 ypg, and converting 41.8% of their third downs.

Cal Player Notes

• Sam Jackson V and Ben Finley saw time at quarterback in Seattle last weekend, with the former leading the way with 207 yards and two touchdowns, but three costly interceptions. 

• Sophomore back Jaydn Ott scored for the third straight game in his return to the lineup, and he leads Cal in rushing yards (306). 

• Junior wideout Jeremiah Hunter caught five passes or more in each of the first four games, and he’s first on the team in receptions (21) and receiving yards (232). 

• The Cal defense has allowed 27.7 points per game.

 

Arizona State vs California Trends

ASU is 1-3 against the spread, with a 1-3 O/U record. 

Cal is 2-2 ATS, with a 2-2 over/under record.

Corey’s Free Pick

Cal was in over their heads last weekend in Washington, while Arizona State showed a lot of fight against USC, and both outcomes may present misleading results here. The Golden Bears actually defended pretty well through the first three weeks prior to being blitzed by the high-powered Huskies, and I think they’ll get back to those physical ways in a return to Berkeley. The Sun Devils got a few chunk plays to sway in their favor last weekend, but they very well could’ve been blown out, as their offensive line has been a major problem through the first month of action. Cal should win this contest, but I like swaying with the Under in a tone-down of matchups for both schools that could wind up being a field-position, and time of possession type of battle. 

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

Mitch's Take...

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