Pac 12 Football Betting -- U-Dub vs. Cal: Penix tries to keep pace in Heisman race

  • In Charles Jay
  • Sat, Sep 23rd, 2023 3:00:52 pm
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

The Washington Huskies are very explosive with Michael Penix at quarterback, and he will see if he can ring up some more numbers against the California Golden Bears.

The Washington Huskies are a team that looks like it might be able to challenge for a national title. But BetOnline customers can tell you that they have heard that tune before, only to find out that U-Dub was a little softer than the big boys.

Will things be different this year? The Huskies are not bludgeoning people on the ground, but instead soaring through the air behind a quarterback who considers himself a very real contender for the Heisman Trophy.

Michael Penix's numbers have to be seen to be believed. They were pretty damn good last year, as the Indiana transfer threw for 4641 yards and 31 touchdowns. This year he is hitting on 74% of his throws with a dozen touchdowns and just a single interception.

Will he have his hands full with the Cal Golden Bears on Saturday? That might well be the case, as these tasm meet at Husky Stadium. Kickoff is set for 10:30 PM ET in Seattle.

These two schools are part of the exodus to greener pastures that has happened in the Pac 12. Washington is joining Oregon, USC and UCLA in the Big Ten, while Cal and its rivalry partner at Stanford will set sail for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

In the Pac 12 football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, the Huskies are laying a lot of points:

Washington Huskies -20 (-111)
California Golden Bears +20 (-109)

Over 56 points -110
Under 56 points -110

The Huskies served notice that they were not fooling around when they administered a 56-19 beating to Boise State in the opening week. Tula fell by a 43-10 score, and then last week, the Huskies took advantage of a Michigan State squad that was reeling from the dismissal of coach Mel Tucker (sexual harassment) and took an easy 41-7 decision in East Lansing.

Penix, A southpaw who spent four seasons at Indiana before transferring to U-Dub in 2022, has very dangerous receivers he can turn to. Jay'lynn Polk is averaging 23 yards a reception, with Rome Odunze at 19.

Cal has never really had an explosive offense under Justin Wilcox, but what they have done is exhibit a lot of toughness from time to time for the former Wisconsin defensive coordinator, who is in his seventh year in Berkeley. They destroyed North Texas in the opener, and then extended SEC entry Auburn in a 14-10 defeat. The Bears have covered twelve of their last 16 games in an underdog role.

We understand that Penix has a tremendous motivation to chalk up some stats to compete with USC's Caleb Williams in the Heisman battle. Right now BetOnline prices him at +450 to win it, as he trails only Williams and Texas QB Quinn Ewers (both at +400). No one is going to doubt the offensive ability of Washington coach Kalen DeBoer.

But Wilcox cooked up a defensive scheme to make things difficult for the Huskies in a 28-21 loss last year, and he brought back a lot pof experience on defense. We could see Cal covering this number and also a lower-scoring game than expected, so we'd be on the UNDER as well.

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