California at Oregon State betting preview and pick – Bears golden on road against spread

goff-jared-103014-getty-ftr

LAS VEGAS – California will try to end a three-game losing streak and beat Oregon State for the first time in three years on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12). The Golden Bears have suffered all three losses during the skid at home against conference opponents, but they are 3-0 against the spread on the road this season with two straight-up wins as underdogs.

The Line: Oregon State -3, Total: 66.5

Line movement: Oregon State opened as a 4.5-point home favorite at The Wynn sports book in Las Vegas on Sunday but was bet down to -3 there and at other shops. For updated spreads and totals from around Vegas, visit our live odds page.

Trends that matter: California is 1-6 ATS in the last seven meetings with Oregon State....California is 3-0 ATS in its last three road games....Oregon State is 1-3 ATS in its last four games....The UNDER is 3-0-1 in Oregon State’s last four home games....The UNDER is 4-1 in the last five meetings.

Cal plays true road game for first time in a month: Usually, teams look forward to homestands because they are familiar with the surroundings and enjoy playing in front of their own fans. Both of those factors ring true in the case of the Golden Bears, who instead played last week’s “home” game against Oregon at Levi’s Stadium, the home of the San Francisco 49ers. While they have thrived in “true” road games this season with a 3-0 ATS mark, the Ducks pounded them 59-41 and covered as 17.5-point favorites at Cal’s home away from home.

“I'd prefer to have a home game,” Golden Bears head coach Jimmy Dykes said. “We've got a beautiful stadium. I don't like giving away home-field advantage. You're playing, for all intents and purposes, a road game. It's just different. It's different for your fans, and there's some negatives from that standpoint.”

Dykes will not get his wish this week when his team visits Oregon State, but Cal has scored 105 combined in splitting its last two road games against Pac-12 foes. The last time the Golden Bears played away from home was back on Oct. 4 when they upset Washington State 60-59 as 3.5-point underdogs on sophomore quarterback Jared Goff’s fifth touchdown pass of the game with 3:18 remaining. He has totaled just four touchdowns in the three home games since then. Goff will try to help his team beat the Beavers on the road for the first time since 2006 when DeSean Jackson and Marshawn Lynch led Cal to a 41-13 victory as a 9-point favorite.

In last year’s 49-17 home loss to the Beavers, Goff was benched in the third quarter after throwing an interception and losing a fumble without even throwing a touchdown pass. Oregon State has outscored Cal 111-31 in winning and covering the spread in the past two meetings, and the Golden Bears have beaten the line in only one of the last seven games between the teams.

Weather: The forecast calls for cool temperatures, around 54 degrees, with partly cloudy skies and a 60 percent chance of rain. Visit Weather Underground for the latest forecast.

Handicapping tools: Matchup analysis | Power Ratings | CAL team page | ORST team page

The Linemakers' lean: While Oregon State QB Sean Mannion has under-performed this season, he faces a Cal defense has allowed 48 points per game in six Pac 12 games and has given up 30 or more points in 17 straight conference games.  The Goff-led Bears offense should produce its share of points as well. We look for a shootout here. OVER is our play.

Information from The San Jose Mercury News was used in this report.

Sign up for The Linemakers’ free newsletter and follow us on Twitter.