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California vs. TCU odds heading into game week

Cal let an early lead slip away, while TCU didn’t see much competition against an FCS opponent in Week 1. Both defensive-minded teams should have a better feel for how 2021 could go following Saturday’s matchup.

NCAA Football: Nevada at California Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams trending in opposite directions play their first Power Five opponents of the year on Saturday as Cal Golden Bears faces TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday, September 11th at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game is scheduled to air on ESPNU.

If you stayed up past your bed time, you could’ve seen Cal start its season with a loss to the Nevada Wolf Pack late in Week 1’s Saturday night. The Bears marched down the field with two long drives that ended in touchdowns in their first two possessions for a 14-0, but they struggled to move the ball after a hot start. Chase Garbers completed 25 of 38 passes, but nothing went deep for just 177 yards through the air. Under Justin Wilcox, this should be a defensive-led team, but Cal needs more offensive fire power to avoid starting 0-2.

TCU played an FCS team to start their 2021 season with a 45-3 victory over Duquesne, so we didn’t learn much about this Horned Frogs team in a Week 1 game that featured 12-minute quarters in the third and fourth quarters. Quarterback Max Duggan didn’t see the field in the second half and completed 14 of 19 passes for 207 yards with a touchdown and an interception. We’ll learn more about the Horned Frogs at this point next week after seeing a quality Power 5 opponent. Like Cal, TCU is usually led by defense under Gary Patterson, so points could be at a premium in Week 2.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: TCU -9.5
Total: 48.5
Moneyline: Cal +280, TCU -365

Line Movement

Opening Spread: TCU -9.5
Opening Total: 48.5

Key Injuries

California Golden Bears

DL Brett Johnson is questionable with a hip

TCU Horned Frogs

WR Mikel Barkley is out indefinitely with a foot

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