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California USC Betting Predictions – Wounded Trojans Try To Get Back On The Beam

Posted by Blake Frazier on 9/17/2012 6:43:49 PM

The Southern California Trojans suffered a devastating loss to the Stanford Cardinal this past weekend. They'll try to rebound against the other San Francisco Bay Area college football team.

California Golden Bears @ USC Trojans – Saturday, September 22    
Football betting line: USC -16

Why California Will Win

No bet on college football can be taken for granted, as shown last week in the USC-Stanford game. USC was favored by eight and a half points, and many people thought that was stealing money; the Trojans looked like a much better team than Stanford before kickoff. Moreover, Stanford's offense didn't even play all that well. Quarterback Josh Nunes completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes (15 of 32) and tossed two interceptions. With those numbers, one would have thought that USC would have blown out the Cardinal.

Stanford scored 21 points against a USC attack that was supposed to be turbo-charged this season. Yet, USC scored only 14 points. Quarterback Matt Barkley saw his Heisman Trophy candidacy evaporate on a miserable evening in which he hit under 50 percent of his passes (20 of 41) in his own right. Barkley also threw two interceptions, repeatedly misfiring on very makeable throws. He experienced repeated miscommunications with star receiver Robert Woods. He was disjointed, deflated and ultimately defeated.

USC and head coach Lane Kiffin knew that they'd have to deal with the pressure of being the favorite in the Pac-12 Conference and a national championship contender this season. Clearly, the Trojans do not seem up for the task at the moment.

What's also worth pointing out is that California is playing fairly well at the moment… except for its placekicking. Had the Golden Bears made even one field goal in three tries this past Saturday, they would have led Ohio State heading into the final four minutes. California's running backs are getting separation from linebackers in favorable one-on-one matchups. The Golden Bears certainly have the talent to keep pace with USC. They just need to finish the job and be opportunistic in key situations.

Why USC Will Win

Even mma betting experts know that USC won't stay down for long. It's true that the Trojans are psychologically hurting after their loss to Stanford, but this is a team with too many weapons and too much pride to sulk through this game against California. The Trojans know that if they win the rest of their games, they will still have a shot at the BCS National Championship Game.

Matt Barkley knows that if he picks himself off the canvas, he can still have a big year and find satisfaction in his decision to stay in college for his senior season. Lane Kiffin will make adjustments to his team's passing game, and the Trojans will exploit the middle third of the field instead of throwing too many sideline routes, which is what they did against Stanford.

Who Will Win

Don't think USC will flourish in this game, but don't think that California has the mental toughness needed to pull off the upset. USC wins, but Cal will cover.

College Football Betting Pick: California

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