Ohio State vs. California betting odds, preview and pick

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State looks for its 15th straight win, but faces a big point spread. The odds favor the Buckeyes, and so does the college football prediction computer.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are a perfect 14-0 straight-up in their last 14 games, and will look to extend that winning streak to 15 when they visit the California Golden Bears in Berkeley this Saturday. Ohio State is a 15.5-point road favorite, and Cal is currently mired in an 0-7 against-the-spread slump, according to the Buckeyes vs. Bears matchup report at OddsShark.com.

Ohio State received a scare in last week's game against the San Diego State Aztecs as Braxton Miller was forced to leave the game early with a strained knee ligament. The Buckeyes still rolled to a 42-7 win and covered without him, but he is listed as day-to-day this week leading up to the Cal game. While Miller is still being evaluated, he may not be as effective as usual if his mobility is affected by the injury.

"These sorts of uncertainties make how to bet on football at the pro or college level very challenging for handicappers," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com. "But watch the line moves and injury reports and govern your behavior accordingly."

Of course, he may not need to be at 100 percent if Cal doesn't figure things out on defense in a hurry. The Bears gave up 44 point to Northwestern in a 44-30 Week 1 loss and 30 to FCS team Portland State last week, scraping out a 37-30 win as a 30.5-point home favorite.

Dating back to last year, the Bears have allowed 48.75 points per game over their last four games. On the bright side for the Bears, the aerial attack looks great with Jared Goff under center.

Last year, Cal gave Ohio State a nice scare, losing by just a touchdown at 35-28 as a 16.5-point road underdog. It was one of the few bright spots of the season for the Bears, who won only three games, and one of the few close calls for Ohio State.

Even if Braxton Miller plays hurt, the Buckeyes will put up their share of points on this weak Bears defense. Can the Golden Bears make it a shootout?

It is certainly possible, but we like Ohio State to come up with enough stops and big plays on offense to make this one a comfortable Buckeyes win.

PICK: Ohio State -15.5 | Computer prediction: 59-28 Ohio State (from OddsShark.com)

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