The game everyone has been waiting for is at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Rose Bowl, though it has lost some of its luster with UCLA’s 34-28 loss to Arizona last Saturday night
Oddsmakers have installed No. 7 USC (9-1, 7-1 in the Pac-12) as a two-point favorite even though No. 16 UCLA (8-2, 5-2) is the “home” team.
USC is trying to lock up a berth in the Pac-12 championship game on Dec. 12 in Las Vegas and keep its CFB Playoff hopes alive while UCLA is trying to play spoiler and earn a spot in the conference title game.
Early bettors have shown a preference for USC -2 as 73% of the bets at DraftKings sportsbooks have been on the Trojans, though it’s been closer with the big bets as only 53% of the money has come in on them. For the most up-to-date betting trends, see VSiN’s college football betting splits page.
Heisman Trophy candidate Caleb Williams (fifth betting choice at 12-1 at DraftKings with two marquee games vs. UCLA and Notre Dame to play to pad his resume) leads USC with 3,010 yards passing and 31 touchdowns with just two interceptions. The Trojans’ 55-17 rout of Colorado last Saturday was costly as they lost RB Travis Dye (team-leading 884 yards rushing with nine touchdowns) with a lower left leg injury.
UCLA counters with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (2,385 yards passing, 20 touchdowns, four interceptions) and running back Zach Charbonnet (1,145 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns). Thompson-Robinson also adds 463 yards rushing and seven more touchdowns.
Both defenses have had their issues, so oddsmakers have set the over/under at a very high 76 points. USC is 7-3 with the over and on a four-game over run in shootouts with Utah, Arizona and Cal, plus the rout of Colorado. UCLA is also 7-3 with the over, though only its 50-36 win vs. Arizona State two weeks ago exceeded this high total.
Early bettors are split on the over/under with 53% of the wagers on the under as of late Thursday morning, though 68% of the money has been on the over.