Free NCAA Football Pick for Saturday Oregon State vs. USC
by CarbonSports - 9/24/2014
CarbonSports.ag Game Line: Oregon State (+9.5) vs. USC (-9.5)
With a lot of big name college programs off this week (Alabama, Oregon, Arizona, Oklahoma) there are a lot of other programs to pay attention to this weekend and two of them meet on Saturday night in L.A. Undefeated Oregon State rolls into USC to take on a rested Trojans team that has had two weeks off to lick their wounds after losing outright as heavy favorites against Boston College. The Trojans are nearly 10-point favorites in this one against the Beavers, but given the history in this Pac-12 rivalry that's not necessarily a good thing.
The underdog is 4-0 ATS the last four times these two programs have met and that includes three outright victories by the dog in those games. Last year it was the Trojans who went up north as 5-point dogs and beat the Beavers 31-14 thanks to three INT's by Oregon State QB Sean Mannion. The Beavers were also 2-for-11 on 3rd down (18%) and were torched on the ground by the Trojans rushing attack to the tune of 242 yards. Mannion is back with the Beavers this year and his play, along with that front line of the defense will have to play much better in this one if Oregon State wants to leave with a W.
The good news for the Beavers is the fact that Boston College ran all over this Trojans defense (452 yards) two weeks ago and might have laid out the blueprint for success. BC was 2-for-11 on 3rd downs as well which was troubling, but when you are converting 1st downs without even needing 3rd down it tells you that USC's defense isn't all it's cracked up to be after that great performance at Stanford. I expect the Beavers to take advantage of USC's poor rush defense early and often in this one as the longer they have the ball, the longer USC QB Cody Kessler and the Trojans offense stay off the field.
The bad news for the Beavers is the fact that USC has had two weeks to prepare for this game and iron out all their problems on both sides of the ball. The Trojans are 14-6 ATS after a week of rest and have covered the number the last four games after a SU loss. USC is also 5-1 ATS in their last six at home and will be looking to go to 2-0 SU in conference play with a win.
That being said, I believe this spread is still a little too high for a game like this and I think it finishes with a one score margin of victory for either team. Oregon State has not forgotten about the embarrassment they felt last year when they got blown out at home and that loss was the second of five straight losses to end the season. Oregon State is 4-1 ATS in their last five on the road and that lone ATS loss came @ Hawaii this year when the long flight and beautiful scenery might have shifted some of their focus. That won't be the case in this one as this Beavers team is ready to make some noise under the big spotlight this year and given that the Beavers are a very live dog in this spot, I've got to take the points.
Take Oregon State +9.
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