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Cal vs. USC Free Gambling Prediction & Week 4 Preview

Bears vs Trojans NCAA Football Spread/Handicapping

The No. 13 USC Trojans are looking to get back on track against the California Golden Bears following their heartbreaking loss to the Stanford Cardinal in week three. Meanwhile, Cal had a chance to upset Ohio State last week, but let the game slip away in a 35-28 loss. Both teams are looking for a bounce back performance.

California Golden Bears (1-2) vs No. 13 USC Trojans (2-1)
Saturday September 22, 2012
Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
6:00 PM ET
Moneyline: USC -800 California +600 from GTBets.eu
USC -16.5
O/U: 57.5

Matchup | Preview

California Golden Bears

The California Golden Bears nearly shocked the college football world against Ohio State last weekend, and they have a chance to do the same in week four against the USC Trojans.

Despite coming in with a 1-2 record, the Bears should be confident. They lost by only a touchdown in week one to a decent Nevada team averaging more than 550 yards of offense per game, they put up 50 points against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds and the near-upset against the Buckeyes was enough to make people think twice about their matchup with the Trojans this week.

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The bad news? Cal has shown that they clearly have trouble winning the close games.

The Trojans are coming off a performance where they scored just 14 points (21 below their average), but they were facing a defense that is top 25 at this point in the season. Cal’s defense is allowing 32.3 points per game, and if recent trends stick true, they must score far more than that to avoid another close matchup.

The Bears have been good at challenging contenders in recent years, but don’t expect them to come out and kick the Trojans while they’re down.

USC Trojans

The USC Trojans have downright dominated this series for nearly the past decade. In the last eight meetings between these two teams, the squad from Los Angeles has won each time, and for the most part, they haven’t even been close.  [soliloquy id=”82219″]

This season, USC is averaging 35 points per game and allowing only 20. With the exception of the Stanford game, their offensive line has looked good all year, and the team has been able to utilize Penn State transfer Silas Redd in the running game.

Quarterback Matt Barkley is coming off his only poor performance of the season, but overall, he’s been brilliant. Having thrown for 813 yards and 10 touchdowns in the first three weeks—all 10 of those touchdowns came in weeks one and two—Barkley has been considered a Heisman candidate from day one. His candidacy has certainly taken a hit, but he’s still one of the best—if not the best—quarterbacks in the nation.

Will the Trojans suffer a hangover effect following their loss to the Cardinal last week? Not likely. This team is too talented to hang their heads with a Pac-12 championship—and Heisman Trophy for Barkley—still up for grabs.

That being said, Stanford did expose USC’s weaknesses, and a gritty team like the Bears will look to take advantage of any Achilles’ heel they can find.

Expect Southern California to win on Saturday, but be hesitant when considering them a 16.5-point favorite.

Trends

  • Over is 10-4 in Golden Bears last 14 games in September.
  • Over is 5-2 in Trojans last 7 vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Over is 5-2 in Trojans last 7 games following a S.U. loss.
  • Golden Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games.
  • Trojans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in September.

O/U Pick: Over 57.5
Score Prediction: USC 35 – California 24

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