The UCLA Bruins (2-8) host the USC Trojans (5-5) on Saturday afternoon in a Pac-12 showdown for Los Angeles bragging rights. Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST at the Rose Bowl and the game will be broadcast on FOX.
Taking a look at the Week 12 college football odds, USC opened as a 3.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has remained the same after early betting, as the Trojans are currently listed at -3.5. The total for the game is sitting at 57 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: UCLA vs USC
USC dropped back to .500 overall on the season last weekend after a tough 15-14 loss against Cal in Week 11. The Trojans jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and looked to be in total control of the game at halftime before allowing the Golden Bears to pull off the comeback in the second half. WR Tyler Vaughns was clearly the star of the game for USC, turning 8 receptions into 91 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman QB JT Daniels has played pretty well overall in his first full year, throwing for 1,986 yards and 11 touchdowns. However, he has been a bit turnover-prone to start his college career, getting picked off eight times in just ten games. On the ground, RB Aca’Cedric Ware leads the way with 730 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Overall, the offense is currently averaging 26.9 points per game on 369.9 total yards.
The Trojans have been below average on the other side of the ball, allowing opponents to score an average of 26.6 points per game on 370.0 yards of total offense. However, they are currently ranked in the top half of teams nationwide against both the run and the pass, ranking 57th and 51st overall respectively.
UCLA continued their rough season last weekend, losing a close 31-28 decision against Arizona State to drop to 2-8 overall. The Bruins fought valiantly all game long but couldn’t find a way to hold onto a 14-10 lead early in the 2nd quarter. QB Wilton Speight appears to have taken control of the starting QB position as of late, averaging 179.0 passing yards per game. The clear catalyst on offense is RB Joshua Kelley, who is currently averaging 99.9 rushing yards per game. Kelley has also racked up eight touchdowns in ten games so far this year. Not much has gone right for UCLA on offense, as they are currently averaging only 21.9 points per game on 370.4 total yards.
On the other side of the ball, the Bruins are currently giving up 33.3 points per game on 442.0 yards of total offense. They have really looked awful against the rush through ten games, allowing opponents to average 215.5 yards per game on the ground (113th overall).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: USC -3.5
The Victory Bell is usually tightly contested, as these two schools have been rivals for a long time. This is certainly one of the less anticipated meetings between these two teams as of late, as both are really having bad years. The Trojans still have a lot to play for, as they are still in search of their sixth victory to clinch a spot in a bowl game. Looking at the schedule, it is imperative for them to take care of business against UCLA this week since they face #3 Notre Dame – who still have yet to lose this season – in their final regular season game. This is clearly their best shot at win number six on the year, so I think they will bring their A-game here in Week 11.
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UCLA is just 1-6 ATS over their last seven home games. They are also only 8-17 ATS in their last 25 games overall and 3-6 over their last nine meetings with USC at the Rose Bowl. The Trojans are 7-2-1 ATS in their last ten games in the month of November. They are also 8-3 ATS over their last 11 games against teams with a losing record.
This is as close to a “must-win” game as possible for USC, as they are going to be huge underdogs against an undefeated Fighting Irish team in Week 13. While they have struggled a lot this year, the Trojans are still a much better team on both sides of the ball than UCLA. This spread is still relatively small, so I’m happy to lay just 3.5 points and take the road favorite. I fully expect them to clinch a bowl appearance and cover the spread on Saturday afternoon- give me the Trojans.