College Football Picks Week 13: UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans

UCLA Bruins at USC Trojans
Saturday, 11/26/11, 10:00 PM EST, TV:  N/A
Opening Point Spread:  USC -15.5
Current Betting Line:  USC -16
Opening Total:  58.5
Current Total:  57.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Matt Barkley USC Trojans Football
USC Trojans QB Matt Barkley could be playing his final game inside the Los Angeles Coliseum Saturday night

UCLA will travel across town and take on its biggest rival inside the Los Angeles Coliseum Saturday, seeking its first win in the series since 2006.  “We find ourselves at 6-5, and more importantly, with a chance to win the South Division,” commented Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel earlier in the week.  Luckily for the program, it’s already earned that spot in the Pac-12 Conference championship game to events that unfolded on Friday.  UCLA is 8-17 ATS as an underdog the past two-plus years and the ‘under’ is 16-10 in those contests.

The Bruins have registered six 200-yard plus rushing games this season, including a 328-yard performance in last week’s 45-6 win over the Colorado Buffaloes as 11-point home favorites.  UCLA has defeated four of its last nine top-10 ranked opponents, while qualifying for a bowl game for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons.  Quarterback Kevin Prince will need to complete some passes in order to pull off the upset, connecting on just 10 of 22 throws for 90 yards with two interceptions in a 28-7 loss to the Trojans two years ago.  He was not under center in last year’s meeting due to a knee injury.

USC comes off a highly-emotional 38-35 win over the Oregon Ducks as 16.5-point road underdogs and will look to keep possession of the Victory Bell.  The Trojans are not eligible to play in the postseason due to NCAA sanctions, which makes this potentially the final game for junior quarterback Matt Barkley.  Many suspect that he will jump to the NFL due to being a potential first-round selection, throwing for 323 yards and four touchdowns versus the Ducks last week.  USC is 5-2 ATS as a favorite this season and the ‘under’ is 4-3 in those contests.

The Trojans and Bruins will be meeting at night for just the eighth time in this series, with tonight’s host holding a 5-2 edge in such contests.  USC holds a 25-12-5 advantage when facing off against an unranked UCLA side, which includes a 13-6-2 mark when coming in ranked.  Wide receiver Robert Woods is Barkley’s favorite target, but he’s been slowed by injuries down the stretch, but still leads the conference with 99 receptions and 13 touchdowns.

Bettors will likely back the Trojans due to their 35-16 ATS mark in November, while the Bruins are 1-8 ATS as a road underdog.

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