USC Cal Spread Pick College Football Week 7

The Thursday night (9:00pm ET) game for week seven of the 2011 college football season features a PAC-12 matchup with the University of Southern California Trojans (4-1) traveling to AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA to take on the host California Golden Bears (3-2). USC is 1-1 in PAC-12 play after winning a shootout 48-41 over Arizona in their last game October 1 after dropping the conference opener at Arizona St. 43-22. Cal is 0-2 in conference play after suffering a blowout loss in last week’s Thursday night game 43-15 at Oregon in a game that they actually led 15-14 at the half.

The Trojans feature an offense that relies heavily on the passing game of quarterback Matt Barkley and has averaged 317.8 yards per game through the air (15th best in the nation) and 30 points per game this season. Wide receiver Robert Woods has been one of the top performers in the country with 55 receptions for 747 yards (13.6 yard avg.) and 6 TDS. Defensively the Trojans have not been up to their usual standards defending the pass, allowing 267.2 YPG through the air (97th in the nation) and 26.4 points per game. Cal has also been a force throwing the ball this year with junior quarterback Zach Maynard (bruised thigh expected to play against USC), averaging 300.4 YPG (19th in nation) through the air and 34.6 PPG (32nd in the nation). As is the case with the Trojans, the problems for the Golden Bears have come on defense where they have allowed 28 PPG (74th in the nation) and 228.4 YPG through the air (also 74th in the nation).

USC vs. Cal Spread, Line and Betting Odds:


USC Trojans -3
@ California Golden Bears +3

Game Total:

Over 58 (-110)
Under 58 (-110)

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USC vs. Cal Pick:

The over is 8-0 in the Trojan’s last 8 games in October and USC is 2-6 ATS in those last 8 October games. Cal is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games and the under is 6-2 in their last 8 PAC-12 games. In head-to-head play, the road team is 11-4 ATS in their last 15 meetings. USC has won 7 straight meetings with Cal, including last season by a score of 48-14 at home.

USC has covered against Cal the last two years (-2 last year and -4.5 in 2009) and the Golden Bears are reeling this year after allowing 563 total yards at Oregon last week and 409 yards to Washington the week before, including an astounding 11.7 yards per pass play. The Cal defense does not match up well with a USC offense that averages 8.4 YPA with Barkley throwing the football. Look for USC to have lots of big plays on offense with Barkley and Woods through the air, and to give up almost as many big plays on defense. Both teams will throw the football a lot to take advantage of the other team’s weakness against the pass. The result will be a high-scoring affair that has been atypical in this series, the over has come in for Southern Cal in the last three games and this game is very likely to be four straight with Cal possessing the weapons to keep pace in a shootout. Bet the over in this game as the spread is too much of a risky play with this game having the potential to be a team that has the ball last wins type of game.

PICK = Over 58