USC Trojans at UCLA Bruins Betting Preview

One of the greatest rivalries in college football takes place with high stakes on the line when the Southern Cal Trojans head to the Rose Bowl to visit the California-Los Angeles Bruins at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.

USC (9-1, 7-1 Pac-12 Conference) looks to win out for a shot at the College Football Playoff. Meanwhile, UCLA (8-2, 5-2) needs to win for a chance to play in the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game, as three teams are tied with one league loss and the top two teams get a berth into the title game.

USC is a 2.5-point favorite against UCLA with an over/under of 76.5 points, up from the opening of 74. USC is -130 on the moneyline, while UCLA is +110.

Playoff hopes alive for USC

Each team has a great offense but features different attacks. The Trojans have the 10th-best passing game in the country at 316.9 yards per game and are seventh overall at 499.4 yards per game. They are third in scoring at 42.4 points per game and tied for third with just one turnover on the year.

Defensively they are 51st in holding teams to 24.4 points per game and fifth in takeaways with 15. However, they are 87th in allowing 394.2 yards per game but are 57th against the rush at 141.5 yards allowed.

Caleb Williams transferring in at quarterback and adding Jordan Addison, the Biletnikoff winner last year, has allowed for a quick rebuild, but protecting the ball is the key for the Trojans.

UCLA to play spoiler?

The Bruins rank fifth in total offense, tallying 504.1 yards of offense, and are 10th in scoring at 39.5 points per game. With that is a strong rushing attack, which gains 240.1 yards on the ground to rank eighth nationally. Dual-threat QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet are dynamite on the ground.

The pass defense will be tested, and that’s where Arizona broke through and spoiled the playoff hopes of the Bruins in last week’s 34-28 win. UCLA allows 254.4 yards passing per game, which ranks 102nd out of 131 teams. They are 72nd overall in allowing 381.2 yards per game and are 71st in scoring, allowing 26.4 per game. They do have nine takeaways, which ranks 57th.

USC/UCLA Betting Prediction

Each team enters with a 6-4 record against the spread and a 7-3 record on over/unders. While much has been said about the poor attendance at the Rose Bowl, the Bruins are 6-1 on their home turf.

Public betting data shows 52% of bets are on the Trojans to win and cover the spread with that same margin on the over.
The passing numbers are too much to account for. Willi\ams and USC coach Lincoln Riley have great chemistry after the two left Oklahoma together, and they should torch UCLA as long as they take care of the ball.

The pick: USC -2.5.

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