California at USC Week 12 Expert PickJosh Bailey
California battles USC in a big Thursday night Pac 12 matchup. Neither team has done enough to get itself into a position to play for the Pac 12 Championship, but bowl game considerations are in the cards for both.
Will USC keep California from running the Trojans out of their own building? Can California pull off the against the spread upset against the mighty Trojans in Los Angeles?
— Cal Football (@CalFootball) November 10, 2014
California Golden Bears at USC Trojans
When: Thursday, Nov. 13 at 9:00 pm ET
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Betting Line: USC -14.5
Money Line: Cal +450 vs USC -600
Analyzing My California at USC Week 12 Expert Pick
The Trojans haven’t had a great season. Yes, they beat Stanford and Arizona on the road and that’s a big accomplishment, but they lost to Arizona State, who could be playing for a spot in the College Football Playoff against Oregon in a few weeks in the Pac 12 Championship game, via a Hail Mary pass. The Trojans also dropped a game versus ACC doormat Boston College early in the season and lost to Utah on the road.
Lack of focus has been an issue for Steve Sarkisian’s bunch. If the Trojans aren’t focused against a tough California squad on Saturday, things could go from okay to flat out bad. USC wants to win out in order to acquire a bid for a decent bowl game. The team also needs to establish itself as a force in the Pac 12 for the future and doing that requires beating teams like California.
The Trojans offense has been very good this season. It’s racking up close to 460 yards per game and scoring 34 per matchup. The defense, though, has been exploited. USC’s D is giving up close to 400 yards and 23 points per game.
California might have the weapons to put points on the board in this contest. The Golden Bears are averaging over 500 yards and 42 points per game while the Bears’ defense is allowing 40 points and 526 yards per matchup.
When it comes to the trends, Cal is 4 and 0 against the spread in their last 4 games on the road. They’re also 5 and 2 ATS in their last 7 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. USC is 4 and 1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 6 and 1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
A key trend that could help us decide the winner of this one ATS is that in the last 8 USC home games, the under has gone 6 and 2. What it means is that USC plays a different brand of defense at home than it does on the road. In fact, save for the Hail Mary loss to ASU, who has become one of the best teams in all of college football, USC has covered in every single home game this season.
The Trojan D also held Washington State to only 17 points in USC’s last game, a 44 to 17 road wipe-out of the Cougars. USC’s defense will only need to stop California a few times in this game because the Golden Bears figure to give up close to 50 points to the rocking USC offense.
The Trojans will roll to an easy straight up victory and cover on Saturday.
College Football Week 12 Expert Pick: USC -14.5