Utah Utes at California Golden Bears – NCAAM February 11

Utah (8-7, 5-6) at Cal (7-14, 2-12)

  • Time: 3PM PST | 5PM CST | 6PM EST
  • Location: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
  • TV: Pac-12 Network

Opening Tip

Cal has a two-game winning streak over Utah as the Bears’ last win was on Jan. 16 when they dealt the Utes a 72-63 blow in Huntsman Center. Utah has won three of it’s last four as two games with Arizona State have been postponed during that time frame due to COVID issues within the Sun Devils’ program.

Utah has picked it’s play up and moved into the middle of the Pac-12 race with a pair of recent wins over Colorado and Arizona. Cal leads the series, 18-17, and the Bears are 9-4 in Berkeley and a Bears win would give them a sweep of the season series for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

Vs. The Spread

Utah:

  • The Utes are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 14 of Utah’s last 20 games
  • Utah is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games vs. Cal

California:

  • The Bears are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 11 of California’s last 15 games
  • The OVER has been the play in 7 of the last 10 Bears-Utes matchups

Last Time Out

Timmy Allen continued his solid play as the leader of the Utes as he scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the second half as Utah ran past Arizona, 73-58, last Thursday evening. Utah held the Wildcats to 37 percent from the field and only 2-of-9 from three.

Stanford shot 58.3 percent from the floor and Oscar de Silva scored 23 points as the Cardinal swept the Bears in a back-to-back. In defeating Cal, 76-70, on Sunday evening, Stanford held Cal to 37.7 percent from the floor. Matt Bradley led the Bears with 15 points.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Utah -4.5 (-110) -195 O 132.5 (+105)
California +4.5 (-110) +170 U 132.5 (-125)

Advantage, Utah

The Utes have been able to use Timmy Allen (16.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg) as a catalyst to an offense that has continued to improve as the season has gone forward. Allen is tough to defend off the dribble and he also leads Utah in rebounding as the Utes continue to struggle on the boards. He and Alfonso Plummer (13.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg) look solid in their potential to create and produce as they lead Utah in appearing on the floor in percentage of shots and percentage of possessions played.

Key Utes Stat:

Utah is a (-1.5) on the glass as Cal has the same rebounding differential. Andre Kelly, Grant Antecivich, and Matt Bradley are players who can have a huge presence on the glass. Allen and Mikael Jantunen are going to be keys as is the Utah defense to force the Golden Bears into one shot and out situations with their offense.

X-Factor:

Rylan Jones is an interesting study at point guard where he has 61 assists against only 19 turnovers in 26.1 minutes per game. Cal sophomore Joel Brown (5.9 ppg, 3.1 apg) will get the call on Jones but Jarred Hyder could also be switched onto Jones as well in the Cal defensive scheme. Brown has 17 steals and shoots 47 percent from the floor.

Advantage, Cal

The Bears have been competitive over all in their six-game losing streak as four of these game went inside of three minutes, including a four-point loss to UCLA and an eight-point loss to USC. Matt Bradley returned five games ago and has upped his production since missing five games due to injury. Bradley has scored over 20 points in three of his last five games and is averaging 19.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in his last five while making 16 three-point shots.

Key Bears Stat:

Mark Fox’s rebuild has been even tougher in a COVID year as defensively, the Bears have struggled in a number of phases. They are giving up 40.6 percent on the three-point line in Pac-12 play although Stanford was only 6-for-21 from behind the arc in two games this past weekend. Identifying Allen, Plummer, and Jones off the dribble with immediacy in defensive transition is important.

X-Factor:

Ryan Betley’s shooting numbers have gone down in this six-game losing streak. He is only 15-for-55 from the field in the last six with seven threes. Before the losing streak he had double digits in five of seven games and had multiple three-point shots in five consecutive games.

Winner: Utah (-4.5) 70, Cal 65
Over-Under: Take OVER 132.5

The Bets
Utah Utes -4.5
-110
OVER 132.5
+105
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.