Arizona & Southern Cal Keep Scoreboard Busy in LA

Arizona Wildcats

Willie Bee

Thursday, November 2, 2017 1:40 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 1:40 PM GMT

On a good run up the Pac-12 order, Arizona is the underdog on the NCAA football odds this Saturday when the Wildcats visit USC.

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Free College Football Pick: Over 73½ (-105)Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Following the release of the first College Football Playoffs rankings earlier this week, it’s clear the Pac-12 has the most work to do among Power 5 conferences. The 7-1 Washington Huskies, No. 12 in the CFP order, would appear to have the best shot of reaching the playoffs, assuming they win out and get a lot of help above them.

That doesn’t mean the rest of the league should throw the towel in, as there are still conference championship slots and/or spots in New Year’s Six bowl games to play for. Both of those objectives are on the line Saturday night when the Arizona Wildcats visit the USC Trojans in what should turn out to be the South Division Championship game. ESPN has the 10:45 PM (ET) boot at the LA Coliseum and 5Dimes has the Trojans -7½ with 74 for the total.

 

’Cats & Trojans Carry ‘Over’ Streaks Into Contest

Arizona is coming off its fourth consecutive win with last week’s 58-37 decision at home over Washington State. The Wildcats ran for more than 300 yards in the victory, leaving them fifth in the nation averaging 338 yards per game on the ground, most by any team not running a conventional option attack. They could be missing two key components on the offensive side this week with tailback Nick Wilson (ankle) and tight end Trevor Wood (concussion) each questionable. All four victories in the stretch surpassed the totals on NCAA football odds boards, thanks to a suspect defense that allowed the Cougars more than 600 yards through the air.

The Trojans rebounded from a lopsided loss at Notre Dame with a 48-17 rout at Arizona State. Ronald Jones II paced the USC ground attack with 216 yards on just a dozen carries and Sam Darnold threw three more touchdowns to give him 20 scoring strikes on the season. In grabbing the cover as 5 point road favorites, the Trojans halted a 6-game skid against the spread and posted their 3rd-straight ‘over’ winner.

 

Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

With four consecutive wins in the series, Southern Cal has built a 4:1 advantage with a 32-8 lead over the Wildcats (including the 2005 vacated win). The Trojans romped their way to a 48-14 win in Tucson last season as 2 TD favorites, the final cashing a 3 rd-straight time for ‘under’ bettors. Arizona’s last win in Los Angeles came in 2009, a 21-17 upset as a 7 point underdog.

There is a slight chance of light showers in the Saturday forecast for Tinseltown, but expectations are just for partly cloudy skies and tempos in the low-to-mid 60s during the game. I’ll be making my free college football pick on a back-&-forth offensive affair.

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