USC vs. UCLA Football Betting: Will the Bruins skewer the Pac-12’s remaining CFP hopes?

Eddie Griffin

With USC vs. UCLA and Utah vs. Oregon taking place, this week was supposed to be a momentous week in the spotlight for the Pac-12 and its hopes to potentially land a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Then the Ducks (to Washington) and Bruins (to Arizona–which one of these is not like the other?) were both upset at home last Saturday, leaving the Trojans as the conference’s only hope, barring a wild series of upsets around the country over the next few weeks.

The Trojans have rebounded from last month’s last-minute loss at Utah with wins over Arizona, Cal, and Colorado, and a win over the Bruins will secure a trip to the Pac-12 title game, which will take place at Allegiant Stadium (home of the Las Vegas Raiders) on December 2.

But could an injury to a key player in Friday’s blowout of the Buffaloes hinder USC’s chances of reclaiming bragging rights after UCLA’s record win last year?

USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins Matchup Information and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Matchup: USC Trojans (9-1, 7-1 Pac-12, 1st in the Pac-12) vs. UCLA Bruins (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12, 4th in the Pac-12)
  • Venue & Location: Rose Bowl (Pasadena, California)
  • Date: Saturday, November 19, 2022
  • Game Time: 8:00 p.m. ET (5:00 p.m. local time)
  • How to Watch USC vs. UCLA: FOX

USC vs. UCLA Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel as of Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 12:00 a.m. ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.

Spread

  • USC -1.5 (-114)
  • UCLA +1.5 (-106)

Over/Under

  • Over 74.5 (-110)
  • Under 74.5 (-110)

Moneyline

  • USC -126
  • UCLA +105

Will USC’s Offense Still Flourish Without Dye?

In the second quarter of Friday’s 55-17 win over Colorado, USC running back Travis Dye suffered a lower leg injury that will prematurely end his senior season.

Dye, who transferred from Oregon to USC after compiling almost 1,700 yards and 18 total touchdowns last season, had run for 884 yards (on 6.1 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 194 yards (9.7 yards per catch) this season.

Such a loss certainly leaves a big hole, but the remainder of the Colorado game provided some hope that it can be filled adequately.

Both Raleek Brown (11 carries, 74 yards) and Austin Jones (seven carries, 52 yards) both produced against the Buffaloes, and USC QB Caleb Williams ran for two touchdowns in the win.

UCLA ranks 30th in the country in rushing yards allowed per attempt (3.6), but surface numbers can be a bit deceiving.

Five running backs have had 90+ yards against the Bruins this season: South Alabama’s La’Damian Webb (16 carries, 124 yards, TD), Oregon’s Bucky Irving (13 carries, 107 yards), Arizona’s Michael Wiley (20 carries, 97 yards, TD), Arizona State’s Xazavian Valladay (20 carries, 92 yards, 2 TD), and Utah’s Tavion Thomas (18 carries, 91 yards, TD).

Interestingly, all but Thomas had at least 40 yards receiving against the Bruins.

If the Trojans can get a lot of production out of Brown and Jones on the ground and through the air, things are going to be pretty ominous for the Bruins, who allowed Arizona’s Jayden de Laura to have his best game of the season percentage wise (22 of 28, 78.6%, 315 yards, 2 TD) just a week after he had his worst (10 of 20 at Utah).

USC vs. UCLA Prediction and Picks

USC vs. UCLA Prediction: USC to win

USC vs. UCLA Picks: USC ML (Best Value: -115 at Caesars Sportsbook) & USC to cover (Best Value: -1.5 @ -110 at BetMGM)

There have been a lot of changes for the Trojans since last year’s matchup, in which the Bruins scored more points than they ever had against USC in a 62-33 win at the Coliseum.

But that doesn’t diminish how eager USC will be to hand UCLA a similar loss in their home venue. I don’t see things getting out of hand in that fashion, but the Trojans are certainly catching the Bruins at a good time.

Until this past weekend, home advantage had counted for quite a lot in a lot of key games in the Pac-12. Had USC played Utah at home, I don’t think they would have lost, just like I don’t think Utah would have lost at home to UCLA and Washington wouldn’t have lost at home to Arizona State or UCLA.

But I like the better team to come out on top here. USC had a late escape at Oregon State, a close shave against Arizona, and the late loss at Utah, so they certainly have shown more vulnerability away from the Coliseum.

But beyond this game being a bit different contest than other road games, I don’t think UCLA will be able to keep USC’s offense down enough to get it done.

The Bruins have recorded 25 sacks this season, but Williams went into last week’s contest as PFF’s second-highest graded QB against pressure behind Oregon’s Bo Nix.

The Bruins will do their share, especially on the ground where the Trojans are just inside the top 100 in yards allowed per attempt (4.5). But 181 yards and three touchdowns by Zach Charbonnet weren’t enough to help UCLA beat Arizona, and another big game for him won’t be enough to finish off the Bruins’ remaining Pac-12 title hopes.

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Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.