Matt Barkley has never lost college football’s battle of Los Angeles, as the USC Trojans take on the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.  Let’s take a closer look at this Pac-12 Conference matchup from a betting perspective.


Trojans aim for back-to-back ATS victories

USC snapped a two-game losing streak by capturing a 38-17 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils as 10-point home favorites last week, while going UNDER the total for the first time in three contests.  Sports bettors may think twice about backing the Trojans when looking at the college football point spreads in Week 12, considering they haven’t covered back-to-back games during the 2012 campaign.  

UCLABruins have won four straight games for the first time since 2005 

UCLA will put its four-game winning streak on the line Saturday, as it was fortunate to come away with a 44-36 victory over the Washington State Cougars as 16.5-point road favorites, as it lost the statistical battle by a 190-yard margin.  The Bruins have been led by redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley, who has completed 60 of 78 passes for 823 yards and 10 touchdowns with just two interceptions in the last three games. 

Barkley seeks perfection 

Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley has gone 0-4 against the spread (ATS) as a road favorite this year, but he’s certainly capable of reversing that betting trend in this spot.  USC has won and covered the spread in all three of his starts in this series, including a 50-0 blowout victory as 16-point home favorites last year, as he managed to throw a school record-tying six touchdown passes. 

Cashing a ticket inside the Rose Bowl 

There’s a good chance that the Bruins pull off a straight-up underdog victory in this crosstown rivalry on Saturday, considering they’ve won 10 of their last 17 home games against ranked opponents.  UCLA has also compiled a 34-19 ATS record when playing a team with a winning record inside this historic venue since 1992. I suggest keeping a close eye on the college football betting lines, with the Bruins covering eight of their last 10 opportunities as home underdogs of three points or less. 

Facing a revenge-minded foe 

It’s no secret that USC’s main goal of reaching the 2013 BCS championship game vanished a couple weeks ago, which could lead to lack of motivation in playing an opponent that it has dominated recently.  The Trojans may also get caught looking ahead to ruining Notre Dame’s plans of playing in that particular game the following week inside the Los Angeles Coliseum.  The program is 1-4 ATS on the road when facing a Pac-12 opponent with revenge in its last five opportunities.

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Bruins as one of their college football picks against the spread, especially since the Trojans are 0-4 ATS on the road when playing a team with a winning home record.  The home team has also grabbed the cash in seven of the last nine meetings in this rivalry.

Week 12 College Football PickUCLA Bruins +3.5 at Bovada