USC will kick off as an underdog against UCLA for the first time in over a decade Saturday, which signals a low-scoring affair in terms of the betting total at the Rose Bowl.
USC has won four of its last five games, including a 38-30 victory over the California Golden Bears as 14-point home favorites last Thursday, while going UNDER the betting total in three consecutive contests.
The Trojans have dropped the last two meetings in this Pac-12 Conference rivalry despite being favored by four points in each of them, which is important to consider when making your week 13 college football picks, as they’ve failed to cover the number in four of their last five games at this historic venue. Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 4-5 SUATS as underdogs, with the UNDER cashing in seven of those nine opportunities.
Peaking at the Right Time
UCLA is playing its best football of the 2014 campaign, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football betting odds, as it rattled off four straight wins before enjoying its second bye week.
The Bruins are enjoying their highest ranking for one of their teams on-or-after Nov. 16 since 2005, while they’ve managed to score points in 38-of-39 trips to the red zone. It’s important to point out that the program is 5-1 SUATS following a single week of rest under third-year head coach Jim Mora.
The Trojans have really jumped on opponents this season, as they’ve enjoyed a 129-22 scoring margin in the first quarter, with the defense leading the way in not allowing foes to come away with a single point in their opening drive.
USC signal-caller Cody Kessler has also figured into that equation, as he’s thrown 29 touchdowns and just three interceptions—ranking second in the conference with a 169.0 pass efficiency rating.
All About Hundley
The Bruins are also in good hands at the quarterback position, as junior Brett Hundley leads the nation in completing 72.1 percent of his passes, while he sits behind just 16 players in averaging 311.1 total yards per game.
Hundley has played a big part in leading UCLA to back-to-back wins in this crosstown rivalry, with the offense combining for 802 yards over that span—442 through the air and 360 on the ground.
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their top Saturday college football picks, as the UNDER is 7-1 in the last eight meetings in this series. The betting public is going to anticipate both offenses going up and down the field with two talented quarterbacks, but both defenses are capable of rising to the occasion.
Free College Football Pick: Under 61 at BetOnline