The Stanford Cardinal will take on the USC Trojans this week in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Kickoff is set for 8:00 PM EST on Friday, December 1st from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.  The game will be televised on ESPN.

The Trojans enter the game as 3-point favorites. Early betting has yet to shift the line in either direction, as USC originally opened at -3. The over/under is set at 58.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 14 betting odds and links to game previews.

Stanford vs USC Game Preview & Betting Odds

The Cardinal finished the regular season at 9-3 after an impressive 38-20 victory over #8 Notre Dame last weekend. Stanford actually trailed the Fighting Irish 20-17 after the third quarter before the Cardinal offense scored 21 unanswered points in the 4th. QB K.J. Costello only threw for 176 yards but did find the end zone four times to lead the way for Stanford. RB Bryce Love finished his fantastic regular season with 16 touchdowns total while averaging 168.0 yards on the ground per game. Love currently ranks second in the entire country in terms of rushing yards per game, trailing only Rashaad Penny from San Diego State. As a whole, the Cardinal offense is currently averaging 32.3 points on 390.3 total yards per game. The Stanford defense has been just slightly less impressive, giving up an average of 20.7 points per game to opponents on 394.1 total yards.

USC snuck by the UCLA Bruins 28-23 on November 19th to extend their division lead in the Pac-12 South. The 10-2 Trojans had already clinched the division but still found a way to come away with their fourth consecutive victory to close out the regular season. RB Ronald Jones II was the catalyst for USC offensively, rushing for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jones II racked up 16 touchdowns over twelve games this year while also averaging 122.4 rushing yards per contest. Trojans QB Sam Darnold also had an impressive year, throwing 24 touchdowns and averaging 288.5 passing yards per game. As an entire unit, the USC offense is averaging 34.8 points on 488.6 total yards per game. On the other side of the ball, the Trojans are allowing opponents to score an average of 26.2 points per game on 409.9 total yards.

Free College Football Against the Spread Pick: USC -3

This should be a highly entertaining game between two of the best teams in the entire country. Stanford heads into this match-up currently ranked 21st while the Trojans are just slightly higher at #11. Although I’m certainly expecting this one to stay close throughout, I’m going to side with USC. The Trojans still have an outside shot at the College Football Playoff and will be looking to make a big statement against the Cardinal on Friday night. I think they will somehow find a way to grind out a victory of at least three points.

Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.

Of course, Stanford has also been playing extremely well lately, winning 8 out of their last 9 games. Bryce Love should have another monster performance against a USC defense that is currently averaging 158.9 rushing yards against per game (57th overall). They are also a very impressive 8-2 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games.

It’s also important to remember what happened when these two teams met at the very beginning of the season – USC cruised to a relatively easy 42-24 victory at home. While I certainly don’t think that will be the case again this week, the Trojans certainly know how to get things done against this Cardinal team on both sides of the ball. That little bit of extra confidence could make all the difference in this particular spot. Bryce Love also is still slightly less than 100% after spraining his ankle several weeks ago. I’m taking the Trojans to come out on top once again this week.