2017 Rose Bowl Prediction

USC Trojans vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Rose Bowl Predictions 1/2/17

Is Penn State a good play as an underdog today in the Rose Bowl against USC or will the Trojans continue their red-hot play?

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Trojans are 7.5-point favorites over the Nittany Lions while the over/under currently sits at 59 points. USC opened as a 6.5-point favorite but the line has jumped a full point, while the total opened at 62 before dropping to 59.

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USC KEY TRENDS: The Trojans are a perfect 6-0 against the spread in their last six games overall and are 5-1 at the betting window in their last six games played in January. That said, they're just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games versus Big Ten opponents and are winless at the betting window in their last four games played at a neutral site.

PENN STATE KEY TRENDS: The Nittany Lions are a perfect 8-0 against the spread in their last eight games coming off a win and are 8-0-1 against the number in their last nine games overall. They have not fared well at the betting window in non-conference games, however, going just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games against non-Big Ten competition. They're also just 1-4 ATS in their last five games played in January.

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OUR PREDICTION: One thing working in Penn State's favor is that the layoff killed USC's momentum. They finished the regular season on an eight-game winning streak, thumping Washington, UCLA and Notre Dame down the stretch. But the Trojans' last game came over a month ago, so how could they possibly have kept that focus up over these past four-plus weeks? Meanwhile, Penn State was passed over for the college football playoff and then the Nittany Lions had to watch as Ohio State (the team that did get in despite losing to PSU in the regular season) embarrassed itself against Clemson in the semi-finals. Penn State might not be as talented as USC, but the Nittany Lions will play with a massive chip on their shoulder today at the Rose Bowl. At the very least, I like them to stay within a touchdown of USC.



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