The USC Trojans will be without former head coach Lincoln Riley when they play their rivals, the California Golden Bears, at the California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley this Saturday. There are a ton of moving pieces on the Trojans side, so it comes as no surprise that the bookmakers have the Golden Bears listed as 4.5 point favorites for this one, as they are expected to take care of business here. The Trojans have also lost their starting QB and have been on a 3 game losing streak making it awfully tough to put money behind the Trojans at this time.
USC Trojans Betting Preview:
Although things have looked rough for the Trojans recently, they did have a very real chance of beating a ranked opponent in their last game against BYU, losing that one narrowly by a final score of 35-31. Jaxson Dart also looked pretty good going for 248 yards and 1 TD’s without an interception, and if he can really get rolling and carry a bit of momentum from that last game over, this Trojans team can still be dangerous.
One issue for the Trojans this Saturday will probably be their defense, as they allowed BYU to score 35 in their last game, and allowed UCLA to put up a whopping 62 points on them. Now, if they play like that on Saturday, it will not matter how well Jaxson Dart plays in this game.
One piece of information to look out for here is the status of Keaontay Ingram, who is listed as questionable for this contest, and if he misses out, it will be a big blow, as he has been very reliable at the RB position with 911 yards and 5 TD’s on the season. In terms of the offensive weapons on the Trojans side, the other guy to look out for would be Drake London, who has been excellent this season, putting up over 1000 yards and 7 TDs.
California Golden Bears Betting Preview:
The California Golden Bears come into the game with a distinct advantage on defense, but will they be able to move the ball effectively enough to cover this spread? They were unable to do that in their last game against UCLA, only putting up 14 points, but no doubt this is a bit of a step down in terms of competition. If they can get back to the level of offense they played two games ago against Stanford; this will be an easy enough win, but it is tough to know which version of Chase Garbers and the Golden Bears offense as a whole will show up.
Chase Garbers has been a bit hit or miss at the QB position with 2354 passing yards and 16 touchdowns on the season. The issue for him has been the interceptions, as he has 8, and he has thrown three of those in his last 2 games after going through a nice stretch of performances midseason. It is not the toughest matchup in the world against the Trojans’ defense, but I still get the feeling this game will hinge on if he can keep it clean or not.
I think the main matchup to look out for in this game will be how this Golden Bears front 7 can perform against this USC O-Line, as I feel they will be in the backfield early and often to disrupt the passing attack and stuff the running game.
USC Trojans vs. California Golden Bears Betting Lines & Odds
It is awfully tough to determine which is the correct side here, as I do not really know what to expect out of the Trojans as a team, or Garbers as an individual. In terms of making a bet on this one, I would go with the under, as I think both of these teams will look to establish the run early, and I can see both of these defenses stepping up. That number is also all the way up at 57.7, so there is a bit of line value in that number, as I would have had it around 53.
Free Betting Pick
USC Trojans vs. California Golden Bears Betting Verdict: Under the total
USC Trojans vs. California Golden Bears final Score Prediction: 21-27 Cal