Auburn vs. California Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 2

The Auburn Tigers and Cal Bears both ran up the score on less talented opponents in Week 1 of the college football season.

Auburn Tigers quarterback Robby Ashford (9)
Auburn Tigers quarterback Robby Ashford (9) / John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

After missing bowl games in 2022, the Auburn Tigers and Cal Golden Bears both got off to red-hot starts in Week 1. Auburn downed UMass 59-14 in Hugh Freeze’s first game as their head coach and the debut of transfer QB, Payton Thorne, and Cal defeated North Texas 58-21 behind a great game from their sophomore running back Jaydn Ott. Justin Wilcox is in his seventh year at the helm for Cal and needs a bounce back from a 4-8 finish last season.

In Week 2 these programs will get a bit of a measuring stick game out in California and potentially get a glimpse of just how far they can go after starting the year 1-0. 

I’ll give you my pick for this SEC-Pac-12 matchup, but first you need to check out this great promo in the FanDuel Sportsbook. All you have to do is click the link below to sign up, then deposit $5 and place a bet on this matchup. After that you’ll receive $200 in bonus bets, win or lose, and $100 off NFL Sunday Ticket.

Now, let’s get into the odds. 

Auburn vs. California Odds, Spread and Total

California vs. Auburn Betting Trends

  • Cal is 1-0 ATS
  • The OVER is 1-1 in Cal’s games
  • Auburn is 0-1 ATS
  • The OVER is 1-0 in Auburn’s games

Auburn vs. California How to Watch

  • Date: Saturday, September 9
  • Game Time: 10:30 PM EST
  • Venue: California Memorial Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN
  • Auburn Record: 1-0
  • Cal Record: 1-0

Auburn vs. California Key Players to Watch


Robby Ashford QB: Yep, the Auburn backup quarterback is the player to watch. That’s because he’s not just a backup, he’s also their change-of-pace dual-threat guy in the red zone and that plan worked perfectly last week against UMass. Ashford only went 2/6 passing for three yards, but he ran the ball nine times for 51 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll still have a big role on this offense even against better competition. 


Jaydn Ott RB: Last season, Ott was the leading rusher for the Golden Bears as a true freshman with 897 yards and eight touchdowns. It looks like he’s going to blow those numbers out of the water entirely in 2023. Last week he carried the ball 20 times for 188 yards and two touchdowns with a long of 66. There’s a chance he’s one of the best running backs in all of the Pac-12. 

Auburn vs. California Prediction and Pick

Both of these teams put up points in Week 1, and the most shocking thing was the pace that Cal played at. Even with the rule change aimed at reducing the number of plays, the Golden Bears ran 95 total plays after ranking 96th in plays per game last season averaging only 67.7. With Ben Finley at quarterback and new offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, they’re speeding up the operation which is going to lead to much higher scoring games. 

The other thing that will lead to a lot of points for Cal is Jaydn Ott being a dominant back. As a true freshman last season he averaged 5.3 yards per carry and last week he ripped off 9.4 a pop against North Texas. It won’t be as easy against SEC athletes this week, but Auburn gave up 140 rushing yards to UMass last week and 7.2 a carry to their lead back. Ott will still have success in this one and the pace will help him all season long. 

Auburn on the other side ran 69 plays in their opener, so not the blistering pace that Cal seems to want, but still 47th in the country for Week 1. Payton Thorne was not great in his debut. He only completed 10 of 17 attempts for 141 yards, but they relied so heavily on the run game and rushed for 289 yards. Instead of having a workhorse like Ott, the Tigers had five different backs rush for at least 30 yards on at least four carries. 

It could be a little old fashioned with both sides relying on the running game, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be explosive. With Cal’s fast pace I think a lot of their games go over this year and this will be the second straight over to hit.

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change