College Football Picks: Stanford Cardinal vs. USC Trojans

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 2:35 PM GMT

The USC Trojans have never lost five games in a row to the Stanford Cardinal, as the two in-state rivals prepare to battle in primetime Saturday.

Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this Pac-12 Conference matchup at the Los Angeles Coliseum, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Gigantic win

Stanford moved into the No. 4 spot in the current BCS standings after picking up a 26-20 victory over the Oregon Ducks as 10-point home underdogs last Thursday night, while going UNDER the betting total for a fourth consecutive contest. 

The Cardinal were led by running back Tyler Gaffney, who has ran the ball for 1,043 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, while carrying the ball a school-record 45 times last time out.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 10-2 SU and 8-3-1 ATS as a road favorite, with the UNDER going 9-3 in that situation.

Continue to impress

USC has compiled a 4-1 SUATS record since the firing of former head coach Lane Kiffin, which includes a 62-28 victory over the California Golden Bears as 18.5-point road favorites last Saturday.

The Trojans have won the statistical battle in all five games over that span, while going UNDER the total three times.

Stopping the run 

College football handicappers will certainly have no trouble backing the Cardinal in this spot, as they lead the Pac-12 in surrendering just 98.7 rushing yards per game, while also winning 31 of their last 32 games played in California.

Stanford is 20th in the country in allowing 348.8 yards per game, while sitting just a spot higher than that in stopping opponents on third down.

What else is going on in the Pac-12?

End the losing streak

The Trojans have lost four meetings in a row to the Cardinal—the longest losing streak in the 91-game series for the proud program in Southern California.

USC will need a huge performance from its stop unit that ranks in the Top 25 nationally in numerous categories in hopes of pulling off an upset, including tackles for loss and third down defense.

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Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Trojans for our college football picks, as the underdog has covered the number in five of the last six meetings in this series.

College Football Pick: USC Trojans +4