NCAA Football Betting Preview
No. 5 USC Trojans (6-1) at No. 10 Oregon Ducks (6-1)
Saturday October 31st, 8:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – USC -3, 47 O/U
The game that was suppose to decide the Pac-10 this season was thought to be the October 3rd battle when California hosted USC. However, the Trojans blasted the Golden Bears in that contest 30-3. However, a new contender has emerged and promises to stir things up. The Oregon Ducks continue to impress the nation after that disappointing opening night loss to Boise State. The Ducks have knocked off 6 straight wins including a 42-3 blowout over that same California team the Trojans handled. The Ducks may just be the best team in the conference, but they will have to take it away from the Trojans who have topped the Pac-10 for the last 7 years.
Trojans freshman quarterback Matt Barkley has shown signs of maturity over the past few ball games, but still makes some occasional bad decisions. On the season, Barkley has thrown 7 touchdowns with 5 interceptions, but 4 of those picks have come in the last 3 games. WR Damian Williams is a huge factor on the outside. The talented veteran of the offense had 3 straight games of 100 reception yards before being held to just 58 last week in the Trojans 42-36 victory over Oregon State. However, the key to the game will be the guy that gets him the ball.
Oregon ranks 10th nationally averaging over 3 sacks per game and they will get pressure on the young freshman behind center. Barkley must stay composed and not make those bad decisions if the Trojans are to continue their Pac-10 run. Also, running back Joe McKnight will surely be a factor as the offense rides him pretty heavily with 97 carries equaling 617 yards on the season. However, McKnight may not be as big of an impact as the experts might predict as he has not played big in the big games this year. Look for the Oregon offense to keep McKnight contained for the most part of the day.
The Ducks offense is propelled by one of the conference’s best rushing teams. Oregon is averaging 210 yards per game on the ground which ranks right outside the top 10 in the country. Freshman LaMichael James has took on workload at running back due to the early season problems with LaGarrette Blount. James has been sensational with 735 yards on the year. James has been even more impressive in recent weeks rushing for over 150 yards in the Ducks two big wins over UCLA and Washington. James and QB Jeromiah Masoli are sure to mix things up to keep the Trojans defense on their toes. Masoli has thrown the ball better over the past few weeks completing 76% over the last 3 games. However the Ducks quarterback will not throw the ball often, but only after defenses start creeping into the box after a heavy dosage of running plays. In a game this close with talented defenses, the big plays will be critical. Masoli will have to make a few throws as the running likely will not win the game alone.
Betting Trends -
USC is 4-1 SU against Oregon in the last 5 meetings with the only loss falling at Oregon their last trip in 2007. However, the Trojans are just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games and only 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games on the road. Oregon on the other hand is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games at home.
Pick – Ducks make the big plays and win a close one.