ESPN has the contract to show nearly every bowl game, but that’s not the case with Monday’s Redbox Bowl featuring California of the Pac-12 against surprising Illinois of the Big Ten. ESPN couldn’t show this one because the Music City Bowl is going at the same time and is on that network. The Bears are TD favorites for this one on the Mybookie NCAAF odds.
How to Bet California vs Illinois Redbox Bowl Betting Lines & Game Info
- When: Monday, 4 PM ET
- Where: Levi’s Stadium outside San Francisco
- TV: Fox
- Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
- Radio: SiriusXM
- Redbox Bowl Betting Lines: California -7 (Total 43)
Series HistoryCal has won its last two meetings with Illinois, most recently in 2005 when the Bears were a 35-20 winner at California Memorial Stadium following a 31-24 victory two years earlier in Champaign. The Illini have won seven of the 10 all-time meetings between the schools.
Why Bet on California?Cal has an all-time bowl record of 11-11-1. The Bears dropped a 10-7 overtime decision to TCU in their most recent bowl game at the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl.
The Bears (7-5) closed this season with a 28-18 win at UCLA on Nov. 30 to give the program back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since the 2008-09 seasons. Cal improved to 4-2 on the road this season after going 3-2 in true road games last year. This marks the first time since 2004-05 that the Bears have had a winning record on the road in consecutive seasons.
Running back Christopher Brown Jr. recorded his second career 100-yard rushing performance with 111 yards on 18 carries, while quarterback Chase Garbers was 17-for-29 for 230 yards and a touchdown, spreading the ball around to six different receivers. With Garbers in the lineup for the entire game this season, Cal is 6-0. The Bears were just 1-3 in games he didn’t start and 0-2 in games he started but left due to injury.
Strong DefenseAll-American and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Evan Weaver registered nine tackles to give him 173 for the season – a Cal record. Hardy Nickerson (1985) held the previous mark of 167. Weaver also became the fourth player in school history to amass 400 tackles in a career, now with 403. The others are David Ortega (525, 1986-89), Hardy Nickerson (501, 1983-86) and Jerrott Willard (469, 1991-94).
Weaver leads the nation in total tackles, total tackles per game (14.4), solo tackles (95) and solo tackles per game (7.9). He has 26 more total tackles (second, Dele Harding of Illinois, 147) and 12 more solo tackles (second, Nate Landman, Colorado, 83) than anyone else in the FBS. Weaver is within 20 tackles of the all-time NCAA single-season tackle record of 193 set in 14 games by Lawrence Flugence of Texas Tech in 2002. Weaver is Cal’s first player to earn consensus first-team All-American honors since Daymeion Hughes and DeSean Jackson in 2006 as the well as the first to pick up any first-team All-American recognition since Alex Mack in 2008.
Cal will be missing four starters for this game. It had been known that safety Ashtyn Davis wouldn’t play after undergoing a minor surgical procedure. However, it was surprising that wide receiver Jordan Duncan, outside linebacker Tevin Paul and safety Trey Turner III were ruled out. Duncan ranks second on the team in receptions (25), receiving yards (364), and touchdown catches (two).
Why Bet on Illinois?Illinois (6-6) is bowl eligible for the first time since 2014. The Redbox Bowl will mark Illinois’ 19th bowl appearance. Illinois has an all-time record of 8-10 in bowl games. The Illini haven’t won a bowl since the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco. They haven’t won seven games in a season since 2011.
Illinois closed the regular season with a 29-10 home loss to Northwestern. Redshirt freshman QB Matt Robinson was 8-of-17 passing for 108 passing yards in his second start of the season (Michigan).
Senior linebacker Dele Harding made a game-high 15 tackles, including 1.0 TFL, to bring his season total to 147 tackles. That ties him for 10th in a single season in Illinois history and gives him the second-most tackles in a season in the last 25 years behind J Leman’s 2006 total of 152.
Key PlayersHarding is an integral part of an Illinois defense that ranks tied for third nationally in takeaways with 28. Harding, a first-team All-Big Ten selection, has three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and three forced fumbles to go along with team highs in both total tackles (147) and tackles for loss (13). Illinois has at least one takeaway in all 12 games this season, the third longest active streak in the nation.
Senior RB Reggie Corbin ranks 12th on the Illinois all-time rushing list. Corbin enters the bowl game with 2,320 yards, 165 yards behind 11th-place Howard Griffith (2,485). Corbin’s career 6.4 ypc ranks sixth among active FBS players with at least 2,000 rushing yards and is the second-most for any Illini with at least 2,000 rushing yards (Rashard Mendenhall, 6.5 ypc).
This season, Illinois had two of the most memorable wins in its 130-year history. The last-second 24-23 win over No. 6 Wisconsin on Oct. 19 marked the Fighting Illini’s first victory over a top-10 team since beating No. 1 Ohio State 28-21 on 11/10/2007. The 25-point comeback win at Michigan State on Nov. 9 was biggest comeback in program history, spanning 1,260 games.
California vs Illinois Redbox Bowl Betting Trends
- Underdog is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings
- Fighting Illini are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games
- Fighting Illini are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games this season
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Illinois’ last 5 games against an opponent in the Pacific 12 conference
- Golden Bears are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games played in December
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of California’s last 12 games this season