California vs Stanford Picks and Odds

Oscar da Silva shooting over defenders in the paint

Stanford forward Oscar da Silva shoots against California forward D.J. Thorp, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

  • The California Golden Bears (7-13, 2-11 Pac-12) play the Stanford Cardinal (11-7, 7-5 Pac-12) on Sunday, February 7th
  • The two teams met on Thursday with Stanford coming away with a 70-55 win
  • See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet below

The California Golden Bears will meet the Stanford Cardinal for the second time this week. The only difference is the change in venue as this game will be at the Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, California on Sunday (Feb. 7th, 10pm ET)

This series has been a two-way street recently with both teams winning three of the last six meetings between the programs. The current odds are showing Stanford as an 11-point favorite in this matchup.

California vs Stanford Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
California Golden Bears +11 (-106) +650 Over 132 (-110)
Stanford Cardinal -11 (-114) -1000 Under 132 (-110)

Odds as of Feb 7th at FanDuel

The Golden Bears have struggled mightily recently, losers of their last five and nine of their last eleven. They bring up the rear in the Pac-12 Standings at a dismal 2-11 in conference play.

The season is going a little better for the Cardinal, having won  three of their last five games. One of those wins was over UCLA — the only blemish on their Pac-12 record this season.

California Needs A Lot

California is nobody’s idea of a good team. KenPom has them ranked 156 of 357 teams in the nation in offensive and defensive efficiency (adjusted for opponent). They struggle to score the basketball, ranking 287th in the country at 65.2 points per game. They weren’t even able to reach their average in their last game against Stanford.

In fairness, this game was a little closer than the final score indicated. The Cardinal took a 42-29 lead into the locker rooms at halftime but they only led by five points with three minutes left in the half. As has been the theme of the season, the Golden Bears couldn’t score at the end of the half.

In the second half, California cut the lead to eight with less than five minutes left but ultimately collapsed again. Matt Bradley was fantastic for the Golden Bears, going for 24 points in the losing effort. It was his third straight game going over the 20 point plateau.

Stanford Is Underrated

The Cardinal is not a team on the national radar but maybe they should be. They are the 46th best team in the country according to KenPom and their defense is a top-20 unit. That defense propelled them to another win the last time they hit the hardwood.

The Cardinal have the 18th-most efficient defense in the country (adjusted for opponent). On average they cause 14.8 turnovers per game which ranks 78th nationally. In the last game with California, Stanford was able to force 16 turnovers while turning them into 19 points. Spencer Jones led the way defensively for the Cardinal with three steals on the night.

Best Betting Angle

Stanford is a heavy favorite in this game for a reason. They’ve only lost one game at home all season, and that was to USC who sports the 25th-best offensive efficiency in the country. California is not even in the same stratosphere in terms of scoring.

Stanford should be able to handle California’s offense again in this game and there is reason to believe they could score a few more points this time around. In the last game, the Cardinal on shot 58% from the free throw line which was uncharacteristically low.

On the season, they are 81st in the nation converting 73.7% of their free throws. That’s important because the Golden Bears foul on 25.7% of their possessions, ranking them at 243 in the country. If Stanford can get to the free throw line 24 times like they did last time, the safe money should be on them converting more than 14 of the attempts. That would lead to them covering this number.

The pick: Stanford -11 (-114) 

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John Hyslop