USC vs. UCLA Week 12 Betting Preview: Trojans Aiming For Pac-12 Title Game With Win

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Tahj Washington #16 of the USC Trojans is forced out of bounds during the game against the Utah Utes on October 15, 2022 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Chris Gardner/ Getty Images/AFP

It’s the biggest USC-UCLA football game in years as it has major Pac-12 title game implications when the teams meet on Saturday. 

Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks? Let’s break down the NCAAF odds for Saturday’s game.

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USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins 

Saturday, November 19, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Rose Bowl 

Game Preview

FOX has the telecast of this Pac-12 battle of Los Angeles and this game will absolutely help determine the conference title game matchup

Last season, UCLA surprisingly crushed USC 62-33. Bruins QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson passed for 349 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for two more scores, and UCLA reclaimed the Victory Bell. Kazmeir Allen made two TD catches and returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score in the highest-scoring performance ever by the Bruins in 91 editions of the rivalry game. 

The Bruins' 62 points tied the record for the most ever allowed by USC. Jaxson Dart passed for 325 yards with two interceptions for USC, but he’s now at Ole Miss. The Trojans were led by interim coach Donte Williams then but are WAY better now under Lincoln Riley. 

All-Time Series Leader

USC leads the all-time series 49-33-7, not including Troy’s 2004 and 2005 victories that were vacated due to NCAA penalties. UCLA only has been victorious six times in the last 23 meetings. In games against UCLA in the Rose Bowl, the Trojans are 8-11. 

The favorite is 6-2 against the spread on the NCAAF picks in the past eight meetings. The over is 4-0 in the previous four. 

Major Injury News For USC 

Southern Cal (9-1, 7-1 Pac-12) stands alone in first in the Pac-12 and would clinch a spot in the title game with a victory on Saturday as this is USC’s final conference game. It still can get there with a loss, but it gets more complicated. If Coach Lincoln Riley’s team does lose, it can forget about the College Football Playoff, though.  

The Trojans didn’t get caught looking ahead to this game last Friday as they handled business at home vs. Colorado, 55-17. Star quarterback Caleb Williams, who arrived from Oklahoma like Riley did, threw for 268 yards and three scores and also rushed for two scores even though he finished with minus-4 yards rushing on eight carries. It was the fourth consecutive game that Williams has accounted for five total TDs. 

He is No. 3 in the nation in passing TDs (No. 1 in the conference) with 31, No. 3 in the nation in points responsible for per game with 22.2 and No. 4 in the nation in points responsible for with 222. Williams is +1200 to win the Heisman Trophy at BMR’s top-rated books. Not going to happen, but Williams could at least be a finalist and earn a trip to New York. 

Scoring Machine

USC has now scored 40 or more points in four consecutive games in a single season for the first time since scoring 40 or more in seven straight during the 2003 season. USC has eight games this season scoring 40 or more points, which ties the school record for most 40-point games in a season, set in 2003.

It did have nine games game with 40 points in the 2005 season, but those wins were vacated due to an NCAA penalty. 

The team got some bad news in the win as the top running back Travis Dye, a transfer from Oregon, suffered a season-ending injury in the second quarter. He has 145 carries for 884 yards and nine scores on the year. A senior, he has earned a spot as one of USC's captains and has been a strong voice on the team.

Stanford transfer Austin Jones and freshman Raleek Brown likely will share carries going forward. 

USC is 4-1 ATS in its past five vs. teams with a winning record.  

Bruins Caught In Trap Game 

UCLA (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) has to win here to have any shot at reaching the Pac-12 title game as the Bruins then close the regular season at California on Nov. 25. UCLA clearly was caught looking ahead to his game on Saturday as it was stunned 34-28 at home by Arizona, which was a 20-point underdog. That ended coach Chip Kelly’s shot at reaching the College Football Playoff.  

Trailing by six with 1:04 left, UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson led a drive to the Arizona 29, but it stalled there after four straight passes fell incomplete, the final one going just beyond Jake Bobo's reach outside of the back of the end zone. 

It was Thompson-Robinson’s 45th career start, a new school record for a quarterback. He threw for 245 yards and a TD and is now two TDs behind Brett Hundley's school mark of 106 total TDs. Pac-12 leading rusher Zach Charbonnet had 181 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 24 carries after missing one game injured.  It marked his second consecutive game, and third this season, with three rushing scores.

It was also Charbonnet’s seventh 100-yard game this season. The school mark for a season is held by Johnathan Franklin who had nine 100-yard games in 2012.

The Pick

UCLA had scored at least 30 points in each of the first nine games of this season and in 12 straight contests dating back to the 2021 campaign, which was the longest such streak in school history. The Bruins had an eight-game home winning streak snapped in the loss. They had won nine consecutive games against unranked teams overall.  

Bruins defensive coordinator Bill McGovern missed a third consecutive game because of an unspecified illness, leading to a collaborative effort among the other assistants. UCLA gave up 6.7 yards per play and 436 yards to the Wildcats. 

UCLA is 0-4 ATS in its past four against teams with a winning road record. I like the Trojans something like 37-34, but let’s just take the spread out of play because the moneyline is so cheap. 

NCAAF Pick: USC ML (-127) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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USC ML (-127)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.