There are few sure things in sports, but this might be one: Oregon and California will score a lot of points when they play Friday night.
The over/under, which is the bookmakers’ prediction of how many total points will be scored in the game, is 89 ½. That is probably the highest ever, and certainly the highest total in the database of the sports gambling information site Oddsshark, which dates to 1980.
Why the big figure? Many factors are considered when making a total, said Scott Cooley, an odds consultant for Bookmaker.eu, an online sports betting site, including pace of play, game plan and coaching tendencies. But fundamentally, it comes down to offense and defense.
Both teams have offensive punch: Cal is averaging 42 points a game, and Oregon 37. But their porous defenses may be an even bigger factor, said Jon Campbell, sports analyst at Oddsshark. Oregon has allowed 42 points a game, and Cal 40. That makes them the fourth and sixth worst defenses of the 128 in the N.C.A.A.’s Football Bowl Subdivision.
Oregon seems to be on its way to its worst season in a decade, going 2-4. In its last game, it gave up 70 points to Washington, which it had beaten 12 times in a row. Washington quarterback Jake Browning threw for a team-record six touchdowns.
Last time out, Cal lost to Oregon State, 47-44, in an overtime game devoid of defense. Oregon State ran for 474 yards on the Bears.
Early in the betting cycle, the over/under number posted was 87 ½, Oddsshark reported, but even that was not high enough for gamblers, who bet the over so much that it moved all the way to 89 ½.
The big number is part of a larger trend. Cooley said that average over/unders were 5 to 6 points higher than five years ago. “We’re seeing a big trend of more pass-happy, offensive systems in college and the N.F.L.,” he said. The passing leads to more scoring, and also to more clock stoppages that extend games and give the teams more time to score.
Despite the high total, those looking to wager may still want to think about going over, Campbell said. The over is 6-4 in the 10 games with totals in the 80s this year, he said.
The previous record total, according to Oddsshark, 88 ½, was set last season in a Baylor-Texas Tech game. The teams had no problem reaching the big number and beyond. Baylor won, 63-35, for a total of 98 points.
An earlier version of this article misstated the day of the Oregon-California game. They will play on Friday night, not Saturday.