USC Trojans (5-5) vs UCLA Bruins (2-8)Date : 11/17/2018
Time : 3:30 PM
Location : Rose Bowl
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
USC Trojans vs UCLA Bruins
The UCLA Bruins will return to the Rose Bowl after playing 2 straight road games as they will host their crosstown rival in the USC Trojans for a PAC-12 clash, the opening kickoff is slated for 3:30 PM. The USC Trojans have not lived up to expectations this season and still need one more win for bowl eligibility while the UCLA Bruins are adjusting to 1st-year coach Chip Kelly.
USC Trojans's Latest Performance :
The USC Trojans were supposed to be one of the favorites in the PAC-12 South but they currently find themselves 4th in the division as they have had a down year to their standards. Part of the Trojans problem is the fact that they have started a true freshman at QB in JT Daniels as the former 5-star recruit has gone through some growing pains. Daniels in a recent loss against the Cal Golden Bears threw for 180 yards, 2 TDs, and an interception which isn’t a bad stat line but we have been accustomed to Trojan QBs throwing for 300+ yards. Daniels has picked up a slow start to the season as he currently sits at 1975 yards, 11 TDs, and 8 interceptions over the course of the year. The ground game has also improved over the weeks and their recent matchup against Cal was an indication of that as senior RB Aca’Cedric Ware rushed for over 103 yards to push his season total to 703 yards and 6 TDs. Both of Daniels TD passes were to redshirt sophomore WR Tyler Vaughns who compiled over 91 yards and 2 TDs on 8 catches. One of Daniels top targets Michael Pittman Jr. has been nursing a shoulder injury and held out of games so it is unclear if he will be available for the UCLA game. The defense of the USC Trojans looked solid against Cal as they were able to hold them to 15 points but they were unable to force any turnovers. Senior safety Marvell Tell paved the way for the stingy Trojan defense as he led the team in tackles with 8.
UCLA Bruins's Latest Performance :
The UCLA Bruins have not lived up to expectations this season as they have gone 2-8 but there is hope that Chip Kelly will get this program back on track with his right players in his high-powered offense. The Bruins have had a revolving door at the QB position as they have rotated between 4-star Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Michigan transfer Wilson Speight. Wilson Speight started the Bruins recent game against the Arizona State Sun Devils where he didn’t have too bad of a game as he threw for over 335 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 interception. Speight has had an extremely up and down season as he has only thrown for 895 yards, 5 TDs, and 4 interceptions. The Bruins took a hit when they lost their senior RB Soso Jamabo but redshirt junior Joshua Kelley has stepped up and rushed for 899 yards and 8 TDs on the season. Kelley was able to add to his solid season by rushing for 79 yards and a TD against a solid defense. Redshirt junior TE Caleb Wilson stepped up in a big way for the Bruins in this game as he was able to bring down 11 catches for a total of 164 yards and 2 TDs. Wilson has easily been the best pass catcher for the Bruins all season long as he has compiled 718 yards and 4 TDs. The Bruins defense is still a work in progress but they have received some stellar performances from young faces. One of the few old guys in the starting lineup had a big game against Arizona State as redshirt senior Adarius Pickett put together a 12 tackle performance.
How USC Trojans & UCLA Bruins Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
USC is 3-7 ATS, 2-3 ATS on the road.
UCLA is 4-6 ATS, 1-4 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
USC is ranked 85th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 26.9 PPG while UCLA is ranked 117th as they score an average of 21.9 PPG.
USC is ranked 65th in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 26.6 PPG while UCLA is ranked 100th as they hold opponents to an average of 33.3 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: USC Trojans -2.5
My reason for the pick :
This is a rivalry game and anything can happen in these type of games but UCLA has been comically bad this season as they don’t rank in the top 100 of most major statistical categories. I will be backing the USC Trojans because they have had more consistency on the offensive side of the ball as Daniels has started all season and the run attack has finally reached its potential. UCLA has not been very good on the defensive side of the ball either while USC showed last week they can put the team on their back. USC needs to keep winning to secure bowl eligibility and although they sit in 4th place of the South division they still have a shot of winning it upon chaos, so expect them to continue playing hard. Back USC with the small spread.
Betting trends for USC Trojans:
- USC is 2-0 ATS as the road favorite this season.
Betting trends for UCLA Bruins:
- UCLA is 3-4 ATS against PAC-12 opponents this season.