Last Updated Nov 19, 2022, 8:02 PM
USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins Picks, Predictions, Odds
Sports Betting Expert
The USC Trojans can lock up a spot in the PAC 12 Championship Game with a win over the rival UCLA Bruins this Saturday. USC has historically had the upper hand in this series, but Chip Kelly led UCLA to a win over the Trojans last year and would love to repeat the feat in 2022. These teams will meet on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET on FOX from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Prediction
Lincoln Riley has been fantastic in his first season with the USC Trojans. Riley has immediately made USC a contender again, and the Trojans are looking to become the PAC 12's premier program once more before they leave for the Big 10. However, they first have to reestablish their supremacy in Los Angeles, and that's easier said than done considering what Kelly has been able to do with the UCLA Bruins. UCLA may have lost on the road to Arizona last week, probably missing out on a chance to make the PAC 12 Championship Game with the defeat, but the Bruins have what it takes to win a shootout with the Trojans on Saturday night.
Score Prediction: UCLA 44, USC 41
Best Bet: Over 77.5
USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Odds
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USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Resources
USC Trojans Betting Analysis
Caleb Williams seems to be the likely No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft 18 months out. Williams was great in his one season at Oklahoma, and he has continued to grow after transferring to USC with Lincoln Riley. The sophomore is completing 63.7% of his passes for 3,010 yards (8.8 YPA) with 31 touchdowns and two interceptions. Williams has some accuracy issues at times, but he throws an excellent deep ball, and he rarely makes bad decisions. Pittsburgh transfer Jordan Addison has been the top receiver with 40 receptions for 587 yards and seven touchdowns, but Oklahoma transfer Mario Williams and Memphis transfer Tahj Washington aren't far behind as Riley is all about exploiting matchups and space.
Top running back Travis Dye suffered a season-ending leg injury in last week's win over Colorado. Dye was on pace to run for over 1,000 yards after transferring in from Oregon, and USC will miss his dependability on the ground. Austin Jones is the next man up and is averaging 6.4 YPC, but we might see Caleb Williams factor in the ground game more.
USC is ranked 47th in Defensive SP+. The Trojans hoped to improve on this side of the ball over the course of the season, but they have surrendered 35 points or more in three of their last four games. They have been susceptible to the run, allowing 4.5 YPC, yet the Trojans have done a very good job of getting to the quarterback and forcing turnovers. USC ranks eighth nationally in interception percentage, and Tuli Tuipulotu is one of the best pass rushers in the country with 11.5 of USC's 32 sacks.
UCLA Bruins Betting Analysis
Dorian Thompson-Robinson has steadily improved over his five years under Chip Kelly's tutelage at UCLA. DTR turned the corner last year, and he has greatly improved his accuracy in 2022. He is completing 71% of his passes for 2,385 yards (8.2 YPA) with 20 touchdowns and four interceptions. Additionally, DTR is the second-leading rusher on the Bruins with 463 yards (5.5 YPC) and seven touchdowns. Kazmeir Allen is the reliable underneath target, while Jake Bobo is the deep threat averaging 15.1 YPR with six TDs.
Michigan transfer Zach Charbonnet was excellent in his first year with the Bruins in 2021, and he has been even better this year. Charbonnet has run for 1,145 yards with 13 touchdowns, and he is averaging 7.5 YPC. Those numbers are even more impressive considering he missed two games with injury, and he has surpassed 100 yards in seven of his eight games this season. Additionally, he is the third leading receiver on the team and is a threat to make something happen as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
Unfortunately for UCLA, the Bruins are even worse on defense than the Trojans. UCLA ranks 66th in Defensive SP+ following last week's tough loss against Arizona. The secondary has had real trouble against accurate quarterbacks, and the Bruins are one of the worst red zone defenses in the country. Linebacker Laiatu Latu is a game changer though with eight sacks and three forced fumbles.