CFB Pac-12 Clash: (24) USC Trojans vs California Golden Bears

The Trojans and Bears have lost two straight overall and five straight against the number

The USC Trojans (6-2 / 4-1) had dreams of a national title this season, but consecutive losses to Notre Dame and Utah quieted those expectations. They’re still in the thick of the Pac-12 race in second place, a half-game behind the Washington Huskies. They’ll travel to Oakland, California to take on the Golden Bears (3-4 / 1-3) who have matched USC with two straight losses and a five-game ATS losing streak. The Trojans are a 10.5-point road favorite with a total of 67.5, according to our NCAA Football odds sheet.

Kick-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on the PAC-12 Network. We start our USC vs California betting preview starting with SC.

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Problems On Offense?

Coming into the season, the talk was about the USC defense and whether it could be good enough to allow Heisman hopeful Caleb Williams to outscore their deficiencies. Through the first month, everything went as planned.

USC hadn’t been held below 42 points in five games, and the defense was advertised. The Trojans still sit statistically on top of most NCAA Football offensive rankings. Still, with an offense averaging 19 points below its season-long average over the last three NCAAF games, it’s hard to know how to feel about Lincoln Riley’s team that could have easily been on a 5-game losing streak if Arizona State played well in the fourth and Colorado had five more minutes.

USC is now 17-22 ATS since 2020, and 14-17 ATS is a favorite. Against Cal, the Trojans have failed to cover in four of their last five meetings but are 11-6 ATS against the Golden Bears since 2005. We admit when the NCAA odds sheet came out for this week’s games, the USC number jumped out. We’ll see if that’s for better or worse when we make our official selection. Let’s continue our USC vs California betting preview by shifting our focus to the Bears.

Cal Had Time To Prep

We never really know how a bye week affects a team. Most think it’s a positive because it gives a program time to heal, but others swear it’s just a momentum killer. We’re somewhere in between. I know that Justin Wilcox’s team has talent after almost taking down #15 Oregon State a few weeks back, but despite some big offensive numbers, there have been just as many head-scratchers.

Wilcox praised the Trojan edge rusher and named DL Bear Alexander as their most disruptive force inside. Speaking of the Georgia transfer, Alexander will miss the first two-quarters of this game after being called for targeting on Utah’s final possession of the game. The Bears have failed to cover three of their four ncaa football games as an underdog this year and are 1-3 ATS against teams over .500.

We continue our USC vs California betting preview with our official selection.

Two Positives Make A Negative

Two NCAAF teams that have recently struggled to put points up consistently are still expected to take part in a shoot-out, on Saturday, with the total at 67.5. To us, that’s a little high and almost smells like a trap, even though this will still be among the highest scoring College Football scores in the country.

We just think that the 63-point range is what we’re looking at here. Cal has cashed over tickets in four of six games, while USC is even better at 7-1. We’ve been doing this long enough to know that when you have two teams that should light up the scoreboard get together, we like to run the other way. Bet under the total.

That does it for our USC vs California betting preview; we wish you all the best with your wagers this weekend.

For NCAAF betting news, college football scores and odds, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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