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Free Picks: Cal vs. USC Gambling Lines & Handicapping Preview

Week 12: Golden Bears vs Trojans

Week 12 college betting action sees the California Golden Bears taking on the USC Trojans. Cappers Picks provides free college football handicapping tips all season long.

Entering this contest, the Golden Bears are coming off a big-time 45-31 win over the Oregon State Beavers.

College Football Odds

California (5-4) vs. USC (6-3)
Thursday, No. 13
9:00 PM ET
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
College Football Betting Lines: USC -14
College Football O/U: 72
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USC is coming off a strong win as well, as it took down the Washington State Cougars 44-17.


It’s safe to say at this point in the year that the California Golden Bears have been the surprise of the Pac-12 in 2014 (or at least a pleasant surprise for fans in Berkeley). The team has a winning record and is one victory away from earning bowl eligibility.

So far this season, the success can be credited to the passing game. The Golden Bears are fourth in the nation in terms of passing yards per game, as they’re accumulating 361 yards per contest in that particular category.

All those passing yards have led to huge success on offense. The team is averaging 41.9 points per game, which is good enough for ninth in the nation.

As good as the offense has been, don’t give much credit to the running game — if any. The Bears are just 87th in terms of rushing yards, as they’re gaining 148.1 yards per contest in that category.

Defense has also been troublesome. California is allowing 39.9 points per game, which is only good enough for 122nd in the nation.


If the USC Trojans are smart, they will attack the Golden Bears’ secondary. So far this season, USC is 25th in the nation in passing yards per game, gaining 286.4 yards per contest in that category.

Just as important is the fact that California is just 128th in yards per game allowed through the air.

All those passing yards per game are translating to 34.9 points per game for the Trojans. That number is 29th in the nation, and it complements a defense nicely that is 35th in the country, allowing just 22.6 yards per game.

NCAA Football Handicapping Trends:

  • CAL are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games on grass.
  • Over is 6-2 in CAL last 8 games overall.
  • CAL are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games in November.
  • Under is 6-2 in USC last 8 conference games.
  • USC are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 conference games.
  • USC are 7-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Under is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.
  • Road team is 13-5 ATS in their last 18 meetings.

Week 12 NCAA Football

This matchup is going to be the 102nd time these two programs have faced off. Last year, the Golden Bears gave up 62 points to USC, and while you shouldn’t expect that kind of production from the Trojans, a big game from their offense is certainly within the realm of possibility.

Free NCAA Betting Pick 4* USC -14

As surprisingly good as Cal has been this year, their defense should be their demise in this one. They’ll need a big game on both sides of the ball to shut down the Trojans, and while they could certainly get that through the air against a defense that is just 104th in defending the pass, limited defensive production should be the difference maker when it’s all said and done.

Check out our Updated College Football Week 12 Odds.

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