The UCLA Bruins take on the California Golden Bears. Check out our college football odds series for our UCLA California prediction and pick.

The UCLA Bruins lost to their crosstown rivals, the USC Trojans, last week. They were knocked out of contention for a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Bruins were fully and finally eliminated from the College Football Playoff race a week earlier against Arizona, but this loss to USC pushed them out of the Pac-12 title chase, the New Year’s Six Bowl derby, and a chance for a 10-win regular season. Coach Chip Kelly was trying to build UCLA to the point where he guided Oregon a decade earlier. Kelly won multiple conference championships and reached multiple Rose Bowls. He had a chance to lift the Bruins to that same standard, but he fell short. He couldn’t get UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet to the Pac-12 title game, so UCLA is left to lament its fate at 8-3 and hope it can get to 9-3. An 8-4 season, after starting 8-1, would be a disaster and a brutally miserable experience for this team, which had a chance to achieve so much in 2022.

The California Golden Bears have already made changes with an eye toward 2023, and those changes will continue into the coming offseason, which begins right after this game ends. Cal head coach Justin Wilcox has fired offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and also axed his offensive line coach. Wilcox knows he needs fresh perspectives and new ideas on his offensive staff. He can coach defense well, but he needs an idea man on offense who can freshen up the Cal program and transform the Bears’ offensive results. Wilcox will pursue development and growth in the offseason, hoping to lift Cal out of mediocrity and into the middle to upper tiers of the Pac-12.

The good news in Berkeley is that the Golden Bears were at least able to take The Axe by winning the event known as “Big Game” (not “the” Big Game, but just the two-word Big Game) against Stanford. Cal looked like the losing team through three quarters, but it unleashed a 21-point fourth quarter on Stanford to turn the tide. We will see if the Golden Bears can carry the momentum from that win into this game against a UCLA team which will be tempted to mail in this last game now that all of its bigger goals and ambitions have been thwarted.

Here are the UCLA-California NCAA Football Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Football Odds: UCLA-California Odds

UCLA Bruins: -10.5 (-110)

California Golden Bears: +10.5 (-110)

Over: 61.5 (-110)

Under: 61.5 (-110)

Why UCLA Could Cover the Spread

The Bruins have the far better personnel and talent than Cal does. If UCLA plays anywhere near its capabilities, it should win this game easily. Cal has nowhere near the athletic talent or physical prowess in the trenches that UCLA possesses.

Why California Could Cover the Spread

The Bruins might be the better team, but Cal is flying high after its win over Stanford a week ago, while UCLA is emotionally down in the dumps after losing to USC. One team is happy to play football, while another team is dealing with a gut-punch moment.

Final UCLA-California Prediction & Pick

UCLA is far better, but it could easily be hung over from the USC loss. Stay away from this game, but if you insist on a pick, take UCLA.

Final UCLA-California Prediction & Pick: UCLA -10.5