Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#363 UNLV vs.
#364 California
Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 4:00pm EDT
Written by Chris King

It’s a non-conference matchup between a pair of teams that have struggled in recent years on the gridiron when a team from the Mountain West takes on one from the Pac-12 in the Golden State. The UNLV Rebels are on the road as they make the trip west to face the Cal Golden Bears Saturday afternoon. UNLV opened their season by knocking off Idaho State 52-21 at home last Saturday. Cal kicked off their 2022 slate by rolling past UC Davis 34-13 at home last Saturday to get things off on the right foot. This marks the first time that the two programs have met on the gridiron as FBS opponents.

UNLV Rebels Look to Record Second Straight Win

UNLV has been anything but a football power in recent years as their last winning season came back in 2013: that’s their only winning campaign dating back to 2004. The Rebels hope to improve to 2-0 on the season as they take the field in this contest on the road. Against Idaho State, UNLV led only 10-7 after the opening quarter of play but broke the game open with a 35-point second quarter to take a commanding 45-7 advantage at the half. The Rebels cruised from there to get the win. UNLV rolled up a commanding 554-241 edge in total offense, picked up 23 first downs while allowing 13 and held a 30:24 to 29:36 advantage in time of possession. For good measure, the Rebels forced the game’s lone turnover.

Doug Brumfield completed a sizzling 21 of 25 passes for 356 yards with four scores while adding 10 rushing yards in the game. Harrison Bailey completed three of eight passes for 26 yards while Cameron Friel was two of two for 23 yards and a score. Courtney Reese was the leading ground gainer for the Rebels with seven carries for 73 yards. Jordan Younge-Humphrey (four carries, 47 yards) and Aidan Robbins (10 carries, 35 yards) also saw work in the ground game for UNLV. Ricky White hauled in eight passes for 182 yards plus a pair of scores to lead the team. Jeff Weimer (five receptions, 71 yards) and Kyle Williams (four grabs, 68 yards, TD) were the only other players with more than two catches. Meanwhile, Zyell Griffin (two catches, 23 yards) and Robbins (reception, seven yards) also caught scoring passes in the victory. Daniel Gutierrez hit all seven of his extra point attempts and his lone field goal attempt, which came from 39 yards.

Cal Golden Bears Hope for 2-0 Start

Cal, much like UNLV, is hardly a school that is considered a football power, though they did make back-to-back bowl appearances in 2018 and 2019. The Golden Bears looked good in their season opener as they took care of business against an overmatched UC Davis squad. Cal got off to a slow start, trailing 7-0 after the opening quarter, but took control but outscoring UC Davis 17-0 in the second quarter to take a 10-point lead at the half. The Golden Bears never saw their lead drop below that mark the rest of the way. Cal held a 415-387 edge in total offense, held a 24-19 advantage in first downs and forced a pair of turnovers while committing one. Time of possession was a near split as UC Davis had a slim 30:01 to 29:59 edge in time of possession.

Jack Plummer, in his first start, completed 23 of 35 passes for 268 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. In the run game, Jadyn Ott was the lead back as he ran the ball 18 times for 104 yards while DeCarlos Brooks (eight carries, 35 yards) had his share of work as well. In the passing game, Cal was led by Jeremiah Hunter, who reeled in six passes for 78 yards plus a score. J. Michael Sturdivant (four receptions, 55 yards) was the only other player to haul in more than two passes. Ott (two receptions, 26 yards) and Mavin Anderson (two catches, 12 yards) each caught touchdown passes in the contest. Dario Longhetto connected on all four extra point attempts and both his field goal attempts as he hit from 32 and 41 yards. Craig Woodson scored on a pick-six in the opening minute of the second half.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Both teams come in off wins in their season openers but let’s face it, they each knocked off an FCS program at home. This one isn’t going to set the world on fire. Both starting quarterbacks were solid in week 1 with Brumfield throwing four touchdown passes, or as many passes as he had fallen incomplete. Cal got a solid showing out of Plummer in his first start and they are at home in this contest. Perhaps more importantly, the Golden Bears were effective on the ground, and they have home field advantage in this contest. UNLV has to prove that they can play well on the road in order to have faith in them. Take Cal and give the points here as they improve to 2-0.

Prediction: Cal Golden Bears -12.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Each team went over the number in their season-opening contests. UNLV went over the number by themselves in the opener, scoring 52 points to contribute to a total of 73 against a number of 51 in their win over Idaho State. That extends the Rebels’ run to going over the mark in six of their last seven games dating back to last season. Cal saw a total of 47 points in their season opener against a number of 44 in their win over UC Davis. The Golden Bears have stayed under the total in six of their last nine games. After seeing what we saw in the opener from both teams, this total might be a little too high, even with mediocre at best defenses on the field. Lean toward the under in this contest.

Prediction: Under 49.5
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.