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Vegas predicts the 122nd Big Game will be a close one

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Two struggling Bay Area teams will go to war with no clear favorite.

Stanford Cardinals Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

It’s Big Game Week!

The 122nd Big Game is upon us and the California Golden Bears and the repugnant Stanfurd Cardinal are both in the midst of disappointing seasons.

Cal is 5–5, which is disappointing to most in Bear Territory in the third year of Justin Wilcox’s rebuild and after a 4–0 start and guaranteed to finish the season with a losing in-conference record. Stanfurd is 4–6, but doing a hair better in-conference at 3–5; Stanfurd’s fan is probably disappointed that the team is facing the possibility of a losing record and missing a bowl for the first time since the 2008 season—a ten-year streak of bowls.

With both teams struggling, Vegas predicts a close game—the opening line has Stanfurd favored by 2.5 points. Given that a home-field advantage is canonically considered to be three points (even at the empty Stanfurd Stadium), this means the teams would effectively be evenly-matched on a neutral field. The over/under is set at 40.5 points, meaning Vegas has opened with an approximate prediction of a 22–19 Stanfurd win.

In Big Game history, Stanfurd leads the series with 59 wins; the good guys have won 43 times and 10 games ended in ties. More relevantly, Stanfurd’s current nine-game win streak is the longest in series history and featured two blowouts (near the end of the Tedford era and at the start of the Dykes era).

Is this the year that the Axe finally returns home?