PAC 12 Conference action in underway on ESPNU with a matchup of two teams hungry for another win. The California Golden Bears (3-19) will play the in Utah against the Utes (15-9). One team looks to become ranked while the other just looks for a win. Check out our college basketball odds series for our California-Utah prediction and pick.

The California Golden Bears are having a season they’d soon like to forget. At 3-19, Cal has one of the worst records in the country and is sitting last in the PAC 12 standings. They’re currently on a six-game losing streak in a season full of losing skids. They had a chance to win their last time out against Colorado, but squandered a lead in the second half to lose the game, a story all too familiar for the Golden Bears this season. They’ll look to change their fortunes against Utah.

The Utah Utes have been having a decent season and are only two-and-a-half games back of leading UCLA in the PAC 12 standings. While they’ve had success early in the season, their last eight games are marred by a 3-5 record. They’ll need to avoid stretches like this if they want to keep their tournament hopes alive. They’ll have a great chance to notch another win against struggling California.

Here are the California-Utah college basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Basketball Odds: California-Utah Odds

California: +16.5 (-102)

Utah: -16.5 (-120)

Over: 127.5 (-110)

Under: 127.5 (-110)

How To Watch California vs. Utah


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Why California Could Cover The Spread

The Golden Bears have been terrible lately. They’re losing their games by double-digits and lacking any fight down the stretch. The had a golden opportunity to beat Colorado, but blew the lead later in the second half. The fact is that Cal has not been able to show up in the second half of games and close out strong. Whether its an issue with coaching, players, or recruiting, things just haven’t worked out for California this year.

California will have to become a different team overnight to have any chance of winning this game. Their forward Lars Thiemann will have to have an exceptional performance against the big men of Utah. The Golden Bears have yet to win a game on the road this season, so they’ll have to be perfect to overcome a 17-point spread and somehow win this game.

Why Utah Could Cover The Spread

Utah’s last few games were losses to Stanford and Oregon, both uncharacteristic performances from the usually consistent Utes. Both losses came to teams on winning streaks, so Utah will look to take advantage of this matchup and put together a winning streak of their own. Senior Center Branden Carlson leads the charge for the Utes with his presence on the glass and shot-blocking capabilities.

Utah will have to be disciplined in the paint to avoid an upset in this game. Thiemann will have to protect the rim against the shooting of California and do his best to continue his solid defensive performances. If Utah can defend as a team and get out in transition following missed shots, they’ll be able to cover this wide spread against a team accustomed to losing by wide margins.

Final California-Utah Prediction & Pick

While this spread is fairly big for these two teams, Utah should be able to cover considering the way Cal has been playing this season. They’re almost guaranteeing themselves a win with this spread, but we’ve seen crazier things happen. I like Utah to cover this spread in convincing fashion.

Final California-Utah Prediction & Pick: Utah Utes -16.5 (-120)