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2009 Emerald Bowl: BC vs USC Preview/Pick

Football Bowl Odds – #24 USC vs. Boston College in the Emerald Bowl

2009 Emerald Bowl:No. 24 USC Trojans (8-4 SU, 3-9 ATS) vs. Boston College Eagles (8-4 SU, 6-5 ATS)

Saturday, December 26: 8:00 p.m.
AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
Football Bowl Odds: USC -9, Total Points 44

Here are some betting trends which may impact this game:

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USC: 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games
USC: 2-3 SU in their last 5 games
USC: The total has gone UNDER in 3 of their last 4 games
Boston College: 0-3 ATS in their last 3 games
Boston College: 4-2 SU in their last 6 games
Boston College: The total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 games

Usually this time of year, the USC Trojans have won the Pac-10 and are getting ready to do battle in the Rose Bowl. In 2009, they struggled down the stretch and are now playing their first non-BCS bowl game since 2002.

Unlike years past, the Trojans struggled significantly on offense in 2009. It was due in large part to injuries, but also in part to freshman quarterback Matt Barkley. Barkley, finished the season throwing for 2385 yards, but had just 13 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. While he will most certainly get better in time, he did not show his true capabilities in 2009.

In the running game, the Trojans are led by backs Joe McKnight, a quicker, slashing back, and Allen Bradford, a more physical intimidator. On the year, they’ve combined to rush for 1600 yards and 16 touchdowns.

On defense, the Trojans were good this year, but could hardly keep pace with a year ago, when they were one of the top teams in the history of the sport. They are led by a strong linebacking group, headed by Malcolm Smith and Chris Galippo. Their defensive line has been decimated by injuries though, a large reason why they gave up an average of 342 yards per game.

As for Boston College, it’s been a transitional year under Frank Spaziani, their third coach in four years. On offense, 25-year-old freshman Dave Schinskie emerged, and was productive for the Eagles as the season went on. However, despite his impressive record as a starter, he does get a little turnover prone, as he threw six interceptions in the Eagles final two games.

On defense, the Eagles actually have one of the more underrated groups in the game, as they allowed just 19 points per game (18th in college football), and 318 yards a contest (23rd).

So now the question is, which team has the upper hand? It’s really hard to say. Boston College is traditionally one of the best bowl teams out there having won seven of their last eight. USC on the other hand also plays well in bowl games, but will they be excited to be playing in San Francisco?

Despite their potential lack of motivation, I’m going to take the Trojans to win straight up, but Boston College to cover the point spread. It’s no secret that USC is one of the worst teams against the spread this year, and when you combine their offense with Boston College’s low scoring defense, I expect it to be a close one. Take USC in a win, but the Eagles in the college football betting odds.

Football Bowl Odds and Pick: Boston College +9

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