Washington State vs. USC Odds & Prediction
Washington State Cougars (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. USC Trojans (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS)
College Football Week 14
Date and Time: Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9PM EST
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
TV: Fox Sports One
Point Spread: WSU +14/USC -14 (BetOnline - Awesome Live Betting Platform!)
Over/Under Total: 66.5
In key Pac-12 action from the Coliseum, the Washington State Cougars take on the USC Trojans. This game has been moved from Friday to Sunday. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the covid virus begin to derail this conference, as Washington State saw their last two games dashed, including last week’s game against Washington. USC had their game against Colorado scrapped last week, and we’re looking at the two teams who had the cases that led to not playing, so we’ll see. At any rate, it’s a big game, especially for USC, who is unbeaten and looking to salvage something this season that could still be meaningful. Meanwhile, Washington State is trying to find their bearings in a season where there is a lot of transition. Who can cover the number on Sunday?
Can USC Crank it Up a Notch?
They are unbeaten, and that’s what counts for them. Their backers at the betting windows haven’t really seen them be very fruitful with just one cover. Their last game was their most-productive, and losing a game last week was bad for their momentum. A lopsided win over Utah followed what were two wins over Arizona and Arizona State where Kedon Slovis and the Southern Cal offense had to pull off some late magic to get the wins. So maybe you can chalk those games up to early-season rust, and they did show the winning touch in getting the late-game action to break their way somewhat dramatically. But some issues are also evident, namely an offense that sometimes seems to handicap itself with strange play-calling and mistakes, along with a defense that can go long stretches grasping for answers against some of the offenses in this conference that have some pep.
That’s why it seemed important for USC to build on a performance against Utah where we saw a lot of things come together. Then again, Washington State has seen their season get even more-sideways with the cancellations, so maybe it’s a wash. But USC was able to see their defense finally crank up its playmaking capability, getting three picks and three sacks against Utah, really making a big impression on the game. Granted, Utah was debuting with a lot of new pieces, but they always seem to run the ball well and play good defense, something they could not do at all against Southern Cal.
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Biggest Obstacle for Washington State
The Cougars have a lot to overcome that isn’t even happening on the field. A young team with a new head coach going through all this would seem to be hard. They opened the season with a good win over Oregon State on the road and were even competitive for much of the game against Oregon, and to see it turn into this has to be disconcerting. It’s a super-young team, and it’s asking a lot for kids to go from the normal rites of passage in high school football to having to negotiate all this madness.
One of those youngsters is Jayden De Laura, who is in covid protocol. The true freshman quarterback showed a fair amount of pluck, debuting with a road conference win against the Beavers and a gutsy showing against a then-unbeaten Ducks’ team. He has been pretty good, even showing off some good running skill. He has a useful back in Deon McIntosh and a nice 1-2 punch at receiver with Renard Bell and Travell Harris. With new head coach Nick Rolovich, who has some nice offensive credentials, maybe the Cougs can maintain their standing as a dangerous team that has an offense that can sneak up and bite you. And through two games, their O-line has kept de Laura pretty well-insulated.
It’s what they’re facing. First of all, being up in the northwest all season, playing both games up north, sitting out two weeks, and then coming to LA is like a vampire stepping out into the sun. An empty Coliseum is a weird look for a bunch of youngsters. Then they’re going against a quarterback in Slovis who can put up big numbers with an experienced core of skill-guys around him. There is a lot of credentials on this side of the ball, with Stephen Carr, Vevae Malepai, Amon-Ra-St. Brown, Tyler Vaughns, and other blue-chippers like Drake Landon and Merkese Stepp. There have been a few kinks, as the O-line sometimes is a little leaky and not creating the holes it needs to. Slovis can also be a little loose with the ball, and sometimes an offense that you think should be rolling inexplicably gets stuck in reverse. It’s still asking a lot of a WSU road-defense to come off the layoff into this spot.
Lay The Points
Part of you might want to defer to what has been a pretty shaky Southern Cal team with their only good showing against a Utah team that was in a really tough position. I see them benefitting from playing another conference team that isn’t in an appreciably better spot. Washington State holding their own in their own region when the season still offered hope is one thing. The last few weeks couldn’t have provided an energizing effect, and this is asking a lot out of a young group to play what is a very talented team in the cavernous Coliseum in the warm sun against a dug-in Trojans squad. A stance on Washington State can definitely be justified, but I just see the Cougs fraying at the edges enough late to allow a USC team that plays well in the second half to pull away with the win and cover. I’ll take the Trojans.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the USC Trojans minus 14 points. Bet this week’s football picks FREE by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at one of the web’s best betting sites: MyBookie! (Must use bonus code: PREDICT100)