College Football Picks Week 10: USC Trojans vs. Colorado Buffaloes

USC Trojans at Colorado Buffaloes
Friday, 11/4/11, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  USC -21.5
Current Betting Line:  USC -21.5
Opening Total:  56.5
Current Total:  56.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Matt Barkley USC Trojans Football
USC Trojans QB Matt Barkley is coming off a disappointing 56-48 triple-overtime loss to the Stanford Cardinal

USC is coming off an emotional 56-48 loss to the Stanford Cardinal last week and will now play on the road in its first Friday game since 1999.  There’s no question that a letdown is expected after playing two major opponents on their schedule and the Trojans can’t play in the Pac-12 Conference championship game or make a bowl.  “We did everything we could to try to win this game,” commented Trojans second-year coach Lane Kiffin.  “They just made one more play than us.”  USC is 4-7 ATS as a road favorite over the last two-plus seasons and the ‘under’ is 8-4 in that situation.

The Trojans are led offensively by one of the best pass-catch combinations in college football, with quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods putting up remarkable numbers.  Barkley completed 28-of-45 passes for 284 yards, while also throwing for three touchdowns and an interception.  Woods came away with nine catches for 89 yards and a touchdown.  USC has won all five of its meetings with Colorado, outscoring them by a sizable 138-24 margin.

Colorado is having a difficult time in its first year inside the conference and will be looking to snap a six-game losing streak.  The Buffaloes are coming off a 48-14 loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils as 32-point road underdogs, while also losing the total yardage battle by triple-digits in five straight games.  “We don’t like it, especially the seniors,” commented quarterback Tyler Hansen.  “There are some guys who are just okay with wearing the jersey.  That’s wrong and that’s what has to change.”  Colorado is 10-14 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons.

The Buffaloes defense hasn’t stopped many opponents this year, allowing four consecutive opponents to gain over 500 yards.  Hansen will need to put up points and connect with big-play wide receiver Toney Clemons, who has caught seven touchdown passes in his career that have gone for 28.9 yards a score.  All of the misfortune this season is a bit surprising when considering the team has turned the ball over just seven times in eight games, with five of those coming against Arizona State last week.  Colorado will need to ride Hansen who comes in with 5,231 total yards of offense in his career, becoming just the seventh player in school history to go over the 5,000-yard mark.

Bettors will likely back the Buffaloes due to their 6-2-1 ATS mark as a home underdog, while the Trojans are 2-6 ATS as a road favorite of 10.5 or more points.

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