USC vs UCLA Odds, Predictions, Picks for Saturday’s Pac-12 Rivalry Game

USC vs UCLA Odds, Predictions, Picks for Saturday’s Pac-12 Rivalry Game article feature image

Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images. Pictured: UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet (24) and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1).

USC vs UCLA Odds

Saturday, Nov. 19
8 p.m. ET
USC Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The sexiest combination of uniform colors and stadium background will be on display once against when USC takes a short trip to the Rose Bowl for a Pac-12 mega showdown with UCLA.

The Trojans look to end the conference season with just a single loss and a guaranteed trip to Las Vegas to compete for the Pac-12 title. USC has one of the lowest strength of schedule ranks of all teams contending for the playoff, so a win here and over Notre Dame would work wonders for the Trojans.

UCLA got caught looking ahead to its rival in a Week 11 loss to Arizona. The loss took the Bruins out of the national title discussion, but a spot in the conference championship is on the table against USC.

Chip Kelly's team holds a tiebreaker over Utah in the standings, as the Bruins must hold serve at home before heading to Berkeley to finish the regular season against Cal.

UCLA hasn't played in the Rose Bowl game since 1999, but a berth for a conference title game and a trip to the "Granddaddy of Them All" is on the line against USC.

USC Trojans

Star USC running back Travis Dye suffered an injury against Colorado, which is poor timing. The transfer from Oregon had gained nearly 900 yards on the ground, creating 29 missed tackles and averaging 3.2 after contact.

From a numbers perspective, the Trojans may not take as big of a step back with backup Austin Jones taking over starting duties.

Caleb Williams showing his creativity with this flip to Austin Jones 🔥

— RanDynasty (@ran_dynasty) November 12, 2022

Jones is not the clubhouse leader that Dye has been, but he owns a better average in yards after contact and a higher rate of explosive rushing attempts, which means the Trojans are in good shape.

USC has scored a minimum of 40 points in all but two games this season: matchups against Oregon State and Washington State. The Beavers and Cougars each created nearly a dozen hurries on quarterback Caleb Williams.

USC's defense continues to struggle under coordinator Alex Grinch. The Trojans are outside the top 100 in Success Rate and allow opponents an average of 4.1 points in scoring opportunities.

Not only is USC allowing plenty of explosiveness on the ground, but the defense also ranks 119th in Standard Downs Success Rate. An anemic offense in Cal nearly upset USC a few weeks ago, logging nearly as many first downs as the Trojans with a third-down conversion rate of over 50%.

UCLA Bruins

The Bruins have excelled in getting blockers to pave the way for explosive runs. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been excellent in designed run plays but has more than doubled that total in 34 scrambles this season.

Adding to the ground attack is Zach Charbonnet, who's a Doak Walker contender thanks to 4.5 yards after contact and 44 missed tackles created.

An angry run from Zach Charbonnet helps lead UCLA to a score and the lead

DTR helped set it up with a STELLAR block 😤

— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) November 13, 2022

USC must contend with an offense that ranks top-five in Rushing Success Rate and Line Yards. Head coach Chip Kelly still prefers an uptempo pace at 23.1 seconds per play, but UCLA plays in standard downs at the 13th-highest rate.

This is a highly successful ground attack that sets up downfield targets through play action. Thompson-Robinson has a 7:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio on 119 play-action attempts.

The pass defense let the Bruins' national title hopes slip away in the loss to Arizona last week. The Wildcats averaged 11 yards per pass on 29 attempts, leading to seven scoring opportunities that totaled 34 points.

Coordinator Bill McGovern has allowed the Bruins defense to sag outside the top 100 in Success Rate and Line Yards. UCLA is also one of the worst defenses in the nation at generating Havoc.

The one aspect in which UCLA defenders can be counted on is limiting chunk yards in early downs, with a rank of 19th in standard downs explosiveness.

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USC vs UCLA Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how USC and UCLA match up statistically:

USC Offense vs. UCLA Defense
Rush Success4109
Line Yards2119
Pass Success12102
Pass Blocking**1318
Finishing Drives6112
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UCLA Offense vs. USC Defense
Rush Success3119
Line Yards488
Pass Success7100
Pass Blocking**4160
Finishing Drives2698
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling5283
PFF Coverage5543
SP+ Special Teams11484
Seconds per Play26.5 (67)23.1 (11)
Rush Rate48.6% (98)54.7% (63)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

USC vs UCLA Betting Pick

There's no shortage of bulletin board material coming out of the UCLA camp.

Thompson-Robinson was clear about his disdain for the Trojans, even stating the number the Bruins want to put 60 points on the board.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson said UCLA wants to break 60 points against USC and be even better than it was last season at the Coliseum.

— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) November 14, 2022

The offensive explosive plays will come through different methods for each team.

Williams leads a USC defense that will scramble and hit busted plays in passing downs. UCLA does have a top-18 pass rush, which should flush Williams from the pocket.

The Bruins' ability to limit the Trojans quarterback outside the tackles is the key handicap when USC has the ball. USC is one of the most undisciplined teams in the nation, ranking 108th in penalties.

UCLA will start with heavy run from Thompson-Robinson and Charbonnet against a USC defense that allows first downs at one of the highest rates in the country. The Trojans allow plenty of explosives on the ground, ranking near the bottom of FBS when it comes to allowing plays of at least allowing 30 yards.

Action Network projects UCLA as the favorite in this game, as its pass rush and ability to limit explosive plays in standard downs will be enough to record a few stops against USC's offense.

Along with their penalty struggles, the Trojans rank 114th in Special Teams SP+ thanks to poor marks in kicking and field position.

Look for UCLA to remove USC from the national title and Pac-12 title pictures in an outright upset.

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