Cal vs. USC Prediction
Will the USC Trojans be able to tame the Cal Golden Bears offense when the two meet in a key Pac-12 contest tonight at 10:30PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, USC is the clear favorite at home tonight, as the Trojans are getting odds of -16.5 points against the Golden Bears. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 76 points. USC hasn’t lost to Cal in over a decade and the Trojans are 6-1 against the spread in the last seven meetings.
Cal is coming off a 52-49 OT win over Oregon this past weekend. The Golden Bears have went to OT in their last two games and are now 4-3 on the season and 2-2 in the Pac-12 while going 4-3 against the spread. However, the Golden Bears are just 1-3 ATS away from home this season. Cal has a great offense, as the Bears are putting up 43.7 points and 545.3 yards per game. They have one of the top passing attacks in the nation, averaging 370.3 yards per game. Davis Webb has thrown for 2,581 yards and 27 touchdowns with seven interceptions. The leading receiver Chad Hansen, who has caught 59 passes for 770 yards and eight touchdowns. Hansen is battling an ankle injury, but is listed as probable to play tonight. Defensively, Cal is struggling this season, allowing 41.3 points and 488.3 yards per contest. They are giving up 270.7 rushing yards per contest, which is among the worst in the nation.
USC is coming off a 48-14 win at Arizona for its third straight victory. The Trojans are now 4-3 on the season and 3-2 in the Pac-12 while putting up a 3-4 mark against the spread. USC is 2-1 ATS at home this year. The Trojans have surprisingly been led by their defense this season. The unit is allowing just 24 points and 370 yards per game. The USC pass defense has held opponents to just 206.3 yards per contest. On offense, USC hasn’t been very overpowering, posting just 28.3 points and 440 yards per game. Sam Darnold has thrown for 1,334 yards and 13 touchdowns this season to lead the offense while JuJu Smith-Schuster has 40 catches for 565 yards and eight touchdowns. USC’s leading rusher Justin Davis is questionable to play tonight due to an ankle injury. He has run for 476 yards and two touchdowns this year.
After a slow start to 2016, USC seems to have hit its stride lately. The Trojans have really looked promising and handled teams lead Arizona and Arizona State with ease. Cal has been no slouch, especially on offense, but the Bears defense is just giving up too many points to trust in any game. USC should definitely be able to move the ball on Cal, but I think the Bears will struggle to put up their usual numbers on the road against a defense that is surging right now.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 9 PREDICTION: USC -16.5