A majority of bettors are siding with USC. The Trojans have climbed to 6.5-point favorites (-110) and -250 on the moneyline. Conversely, the Bruins are +6.5 (-110) on the college football point spread and +210 to win outright. The total is 65.5 (-110 Over, -110 Under).
Who has the edge? Read on as we break down both teams and give our UCLA vs USC free picks.
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; Los Angeles
UCLA vs USC Betting Trends
The UCLA Bruins are 4-6 against the spread, including 1-4 over their last five games. The total has gone Under in six of UCLA’s last seven games. Meanwhile, the USC Trojans are just 3-8 ATS, including 2-4 at home. The total has gone Over in nine of USC’s 11 games, the second-highest rate (81.8%) in the country. That’s important to remember when assessing our UCLA vs USC free picks.
The USC Trojans are reeling, having lost two straight and four of five since a 6-0 start. After climbing as high as No. 5 in the AP Top 25 poll, the Trojans are now merely an afterthought nationally. Their College Football Playoff hopes are long over, as is any shot at a Pac-12 title.
USC dropped to 7-4 (5-3 Pac 12) following its 36-27 loss to No. 6 Oregon on Saturday. A 16.5-point underdog, the Trojans managed to cover the spread for the first time in eight NCAAF games. But that was little satisfaction to Lincoln Riley’s team during a season gone bad.
Projected for 10.0 wins, the Trojans have performed well below expectations. That’s despite another strong year from Caleb Williams, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Williams has completed 67.9% of his passes for 3,249 yards, and 29 touchdowns compared to just four interceptions. He’s also rushed for 11 scores.
Williams has done nothing to diminish his stock. He remains the clear favorite alongside North Carolina’s Drake Maye to go No. 1 in the 2024 NFL Draft. But he’s no longer in the mix for back-to-back Heismans.
USC’s offense remains highly productive, ranking third in FBS in scoring (43.8 PPG). But the Trojans have also allowed the second-most points in the country (381). Because of their propensity for high NCAAF scores, the Trojans have gone Over the total in seven of their last eight games. Keep that in mind when analyzing our UCLA vs USC free picks.
Like USC, UCLA is trending in the wrong direction. Saturday’s 17-7 loss to Arizona State was the second in a row for the Bruins (6-4, 3-4 Pac 12). A 14-point favorite, UCLA had a 300-250 edge in total yardage but didn’t reach the end zone until early in the fourth quarter.
With only two regular-season games remaining, the Bruins’ projected win total of 8.5 is no longer attainable. Still, they’re bowl-eligible for the second straight season under Chip Kelly and for just the third time since 2017.
After a fairly optimistic start, UCLA’s offense has sputtered. The Bruins have scored just 17 points in the last two weeks despite still ranking 34th nationally in total offense (430.9 yards per game). Kent State transfer Collin Schlee made his first start last week (11 of 18, 117 yards, 1 TD) after Ethan Garbers was injured in the previous game against Arizona. Schlee, who began the season third on the depth chart, may get the nod once again.
Notably, UCLA’s defense has been up to the task. On average, the Bruins have allowed the ninth-fewest points in FBS (16.4).
Handicapping the Game
USC’s had a noticeable edge in this rivalry, having won 10 of the last 12 home games against UCLA. It seemingly has the upper hand this time around too. The Bruins’ instability at quarterback is concerning.
While the Trojans’ defense is easy to exploit — they’ve given up at least 30 points in seven straight games — UCLA doesn’t appear suited to out-gun Williams and Co. The Trojans certainly could use a big performance headed into bowl season.
While UCLA may keep this within one score, it’s USC’s game to lose. UCLA +6 is the play here.