Saturday's Savvy College Football Picks: On Total & ATS

Joe Catalano

Saturday, November 22, 2014 4:07 PM GMT

In Week 13 of the College Football season, it helps to have skilled cappers share their picks for crucial matchups. We are getting down to the nitty gritty and focus on these two for today.

#19 USC Trojans (7-3, 6-2) vs. #9 UCLA Bruins (8-2, 5-2)

Battle Of Los Angeles

Even though the Bruins have the better record overall, the Trojans have the better record in the Pac-12 South Division and that will change after tonight's game. A lot of points are expected to be scored between these two high-powered offenses as the betting total for the game is listed at 63.5 and the UCLA Bruins are a 4 point betting favorite.

I definitely think that more pressure is on quarterback Brett Hundley and the Bruins where the Pac-12 is concerned. UCLA has owned this rivalry over the past couple of seasons after a long drought.

UCLA features a well balanced offensive attack as they're ranked 30th in passing and 29th in rushing in the nation. Even though neither of them managed to eclipse the 100 yard mark in a 44-30 victory over the Washington Huskies, running back Paul Perkins (1169 yards, 6 TD's) and wide receiver Jordan Payton (839 yards, 7TD's) are the featured players in this offense aside from quarterback Brett Hundley.

Hundley does so many things well. He stays away from turnovers (17 TD, 4 INT) while still managing to be a double threat at the quarterback position. On the season, Hundley is the Bruins 2nd most productive runner, rushing for 564 yards and 7TD's and has still managed to pass for 2547 yards. Hundley is coming off of a monster game against the Huskies in which he was near perfect at 29 for 36 passes for 302 yards and 2 TD's. I expect Hundley to put the exclamation point on a great season with a win over the Trojans at Pasadena tonight.

 

Equally Dominant
USC is equally as good offensively as they feature a 1000 yard rusher in Javorious Allen and a 1000 yard receiver in Nelson Agholor. Agholor is coming off of a massive 216 yard receiving performance with 2 touchdowns in a 38-30 victory over California.

It will be up to quarterback Cody Kessler to make the right decisions and keep his cool in the pocket. There's no reason to believe that he'll do otherwise. Kessler has put up monstrous numbers this season with almost 3000 yards of passing with 29 TD and just 3 picks. In his last 2 games alone, Kessler has passed for 871 yards with 9 TD's and 1 INT. I expect this game to be offense and more offense.

Free College Football Pick: UCLA/USC Over 63.5 at 5 Dimes

 

Samford Bulldogs 7-3, 2-2 vs. #14 Auburn Tigers (7-3, 5-1)

Equal Records, Different Odds
You look at their respective records and the one thing that really stands out is that Auburn is a massive 38 point betting favorite as they play in the best conference in college football in the SEC while Samford plays in a low-level conference.

Can Auburn prove that SEC is #1 by a mile by covering such a large betting spread against a team which has won 7 out of 9 games this season? To compound things, Auburn is 4th in the SEC West Division after getting pounded by the Georgia Bulldogs and Nick Chubb last week, 34-7.

What was really disappointing for Auburn was that quarterback Nick Marshall had a chance to come back to Georgia with a revenge-like mentality and failed miserably. Marshall completed just 11 of 23 passes for 112 yards and 1 INT.

 

Run Oriented Offense
Auburn relies heavily on the run and the combination of Cameron Artis-Payne and quarterback Nick Marshall have accounted for over 2000 yard and 21 TD. Auburn is a very capable team that has a lot of talent and a lot to play for, but I'm not sold on them giving up 38 points in this game. It's not as if their defense is on the same level of Alabama or LSU.

 

Total Domination
Samford has won their last 4 games and outscored their opponents by a margin of 154-37. I don't acclaim to be an expert where Samford is concerned, but some of these wins are hollow when facing a team the level of Auburn. When searching for specific statistics on the recent Samford wins, ESPN.com didn't even list the details. It doesn't matter to me; competition is competition. Samford isn't going to blowout their opponents and lose in excess of 40 points to an Auburn team that got hammered last week.

Free College Football Pick: Samford +38 at 5 Dimes