Pac 12 Week Nine Betting Preview: #9 USC Trojans at Arizona Wildcats
#9 Southern California Trojans at Arizona Wildcats
Saturday, October 27, 2012, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC or ESPN2
Arizona Stadium – Tucson, Arizona
Opening Line: USC -8
Current Line: USC -6 1/2
Opening Total: 63
Current Total: 66
Opening Money Line: USC -250 / Arizona +210
Current Money Line: USC -240 / Arizona +200
The #9 USC Trojans and Arizona Wildcats meet for the 36th time Saturday afternoon in Tucson. The Trojans lead the series 28-7, and have won 9 of the last 10 games against the Wildcats, including a 48-41 win last year in Los Angeles.
USC is 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the Pac 12 under coach Lane Kiffin. The Trojans lead the South division by a half game over Arizona St. The only loss for USC came at Stanford 21-14. The Trojans have home wins over Hawaii 49-10, Cal 27-9, and last week against Colorado 50-6. USC has road wins over Syracuse 42-29 in New Jersey, at Utah 38-28, and Washington 24-14. The Trojans are 2-5 ATS and the total is also 2-5 this season. USC was a 39.5 point favorite in the Colorado game and the total was 57.
USC was supposed to have one of the most explosive offenses in the country,but so far the Trojans have been average at best. USC is averaging 421.3 yards per game including, 262.4 passing yards and 158.9 rushing yards. On defense, the Trojans are allowing 334.3 yards per game including 224.7 passing yards and 109.6 rushing yards. USC is outscoring teams 35-17 this season. The Trojans have forced 22 turnovers this season, and have a turnover margin of +9. USC is averaging 80 penalty yards per game. The Trojans have allowed 9 sacks and forced 27 of their own. USC is 33/96 on third and fourth down conversions, and 23/27 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns. Trojan opponents are 42/113 on third and fourth conversions, and 16/23 scoring in the red zone with 9 touchdowns. The Trojans have four defensive/special teams touchdowns.
USC quarterback Matt Barkley has completed 140 of 213 passes (65.7%) for 1,773 yards with 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He has been sacked 8 times in seven games this season. Running back Silas Redd has 104 carries, 583 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 3 catches for 55 yards. Curtis McNeal has 47 carries, for 299 yards, along with a catch for 20 yards. Receiver Marqise Lee has 60 catches, 784 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 43 rushing yards. Lee also has a kickoff return for a touchdown. Robert Woods has 44 catches, 492 yards, and 9 touchdowns, along with 76 rushing yards. Lee and Woods are arguably the best receiver tandem in the country, but no other Trojan has more than 13 catches. Tight ends Randall Telfer and Christian Thomas are both questionable this week. Telfer has 8 catches, 71 yards and 2 touchdowns, but Thomas hasn’t played yet this season. Seven Trojan defensive player are out indefinitely or for the season. Kicker Andre Heidari is also out indefinitely with a knee injury. He is one one the best kickers in the country. Alex Wood will take over, but he has yest to attempt a field goal this season. He has made all 8 extra points he has tried though.
Arizona is 4-3 overall and 1-3 in the Pac 12 this season under new coach Rich Rodriguez. The Wildcats have losses at Oregon 49-0, and Stanford 54-48 in overtime, along with a home loss to Oregon St 38-35. Arizona has wins at home against Toledo 24-17 in overtime, Oklahoma St 59-38, South Carolina St 56-0, and last week against Washington 52-17. The Washington win snapped a 3 game losing streak for Arizona. The Wildcats were 8.5 point favorites in that game and the total was 65.5. Arizona is 4-3 ATS and the total is 4-2 this season.
Arizona is averaging 548.7 yards per game including 352.3 passing yards and 196.4 rushing yards. The Wildcats are 35 in total and passing offense. For the season, Arizona is outscoring opponents 39-30 this season. Arizona has forced 14 turnovers, but has given up 14 turnovers to opponents as well. The Wildcats have allowed 12 sacks. Arizona is 55/119 on third and fourth down conversions, and 32/44 scoring in the red zone with 25 touchdowns. On defense, the Wildcats are allowing 464.7 yards per game, including 291.1 passing yards and 173.6 rushing yards. Arizona is 81th or worse in all defensive categories. The Wildcats have forced 10 sacks this season. Arizona opponents are 55/130 on third and fourth down conversions, and 24/28 scoring in the red zone, with 20 touchdowns.
Arizona quarterback Matt Scott has completed 200 of 311 passes (64.3%) for 2,355 yards with 17 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He is also the second leading rusher for the ‘Cats with 65 carries, 265 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Running back Ka’Deem Carey has 155 carries, 842 yards, and 11 touchdowns, along with 22 catches for 222 yards with a touchdown. Daniel Jenkins and Jared Baker will also get some carries. Each has a rushing touchdown this year. Receiver Austin Hill has 44 catches, 678 yards and 7 touchdowns. Dan Buckner has 44 catches, 599 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Richard Morrison has 23 catches, 171 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Six Wildcats are out indefinitely or for the season, and five more are questionable for Saturday’s game. The injured players include 5 defensive players and 3 offensive linemen.
USC is 5-2 ATS on grass, 10-21 in October, 3-7 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 2-5 overall, 4-11 after scoring 40 points, 1-4 after a straight up win, and 0-4 in road games. Five of the last six games in this series have gone under the total, and the last 4 played in Tucson have gone under as well. The road team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.
Arizona is 4-1 ATS on grass, 6-2 in October, 5-11 against teams with winning records, 2-5 after scoring more than 40 points, and after a straight up win, 7-19 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 2-7 after a cover, and 1-4 at home against teams with winning road records. The Wildcats are 6-1 ATS in the last 7 against USC.
USC is clearly the better team, but this seems like a potential trap game as USC plays Oregon and Arizona St in the next two weeks. The spread opened at USC -8 but has been bet down to 6 1/2 or even 6 in some places. I think the Trojans win a close game, but should be able to cover that. I do expect lots of points though.
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