California Golden Bears (5-4 SU, 6-3 ATS) vs. USC Trojans (6-3 SU, 6-3 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date and Time: Thursday, November 13, 9:00pm EST
Where:Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum - Los Angeles, CA
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:CAL +14.5/USC -14.5
Over/Under Total: 72
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Thursday night on ESPN, tune in and check out a Pac-12 battle between the California Golden Bears and the USC Trojans. Cal comes into this game at 5-4 overall, while USC sits at 6-3. Neither team has a realistic shot of winning a Pac-12 title, but games like this are the ones that dictate bowl bids. The winner of this game will improve their conference standing.
Apparently, not many people think that Cal has a chance to win this game. The line opens wit USC favored by 14.5 points and the over under is set at 72. I guess they are expecting some 45-28 type game or something. That is a high posted total for such a big spread in my opinion, but we shall see. Both teams have had equal success against the spread this season. Both USC and Cal come in at 6-3 ATS.
USC started out the season looking as if they were back and ready for a run at a Pac-12 title and a Final Four appearance. After beating Stanford on the road, it looked like the Trojans were ready to make some major noise, then they went and lost to Boston College. Not good. Since that loss, USC has just been an average team. The Trojans come into this game against Cal ranked 25th in the nation in passing which is good enough to rank in the top 25. The running game compared to the rest of the nation is not great, but led by running back, Javorius Allen, the Trojans are averaging about 170 yards a game on the ground. Allen himself has had a heck of a season so far. Averaging 5.7 yards a carry, he has already gone over 1,100 yards and scored eight touchdowns in 2014. I believe this USC offense will have no problem against Cal’s 122nd ranked scoring defense. The key to covering this 14.5 point spread for USC is to play some defense. Not much, just enough. USC will be able to score at will in this game, so if they can get a couple of stops per half, I see this getting out of hand quickly.
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California, also known as “Cal,” comes in at 5-4 overall. This team can flat out score. The Golden Bears are ranked 3rd in the nation in passing yards, and 9th in the nation in scoring. At 41 points per game, this offense can hang with the best of them. However, on the defensive side of the ball, Cal is one of the worst in all of college football. Like earlier stated, the Golden Bears are ranked 122nd in the country in scoring defense, giving up right at 40 points per game. Just look at some of these scores this season that they have been involved in: 49-45, 59-41, and 59-56. What gives? At some point this team is going to have to find a defense to contend in the Pac-12. If a team with this prolific of an offense just a had a defense ranked in the nations top 70, they could be on their way to a 10-11 win season. Just like I said about USC, Cal is going to have to play some defense in this game in order to make it close, or even have a prayer to win it. If they give up the big plays to USC and cannot get stops, they may give up 60.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: We have a game here between two great offenses that is primed to be a shootout. I do have a little more faith in the USC defense than I do Cal’s. I am not going to look at trends or stats here, I am actually going to lay off the 14.5 point spread too. There is one play I like in this one… The Over. I see a crazy shootout and I like this game to end about 45-34. PICK OVER THE 72 POINTS