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UCLA vs USC Predictions

Lance PattonPromotions Creator & Editor
@lancepsports
Last Updated: Nov 13, 2023

While both teams have fallen out of the top 25, UCLA and USC both have realistic hopes of getting back in before long and making it to a great bowl game.

The numbers still say that these are two of the most dangerous teams in the country, and while USC is favored by 6.5 points, the UCLA defense can provide a challenge to its high-flying offense.

Let’s dig into this rivalry matchup with our UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans college football picks and predictions for Saturday, Nov. 18, at 3:30 p.m. ET.

UCLA vs USC Odds

Track our latest CFB odds for Bruins vs Trojans:

NCAAF lines used for UCLA vs USC were current as of Monday, Nov. 13, at 10 a.m. EST on DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Moneyline: USC (-270) • UCLA (+220)
  • Spread: USC -6.5 (-110) • UCLA +6.5 (-110)
  • Total Points: Over 65.5 (-110) • Under 65.5 (-110)

With USC favored by nearly a touchdown at home and the total set relatively high, up in the mid-60s, the sportsbooks clearly think the Trojans’ offense will set the pace, but we’ll have to look more into the matchup to make a pick.

UCLA vs USC Prediction

SCORE PICK: USC 27, UCLA 24

It’s hard to pick USC to win by over a touchdown, since it hasn’t covered that margin since a 48-41 win over Colorado in late September.

As of late, things have been tough for the Trojans, who followed up an emotional loss to Washington with a lackluster performance in Oregon, yet another nail in the coffin for their season.

The Heisman campaign is over for Caleb Williams, and with a conference title off the table as well, it’s hard to know just how much Lincoln Riley is going to push him throughout the last few games of his college career.

UCLA is in a bit of a rut, as well, as they’ve dropped consecutive games to the two Arizona schools, but the defense is alive and well; those losses have been by scores of 17-7 and 27-10. USC’s offense should be able to achieve just as much as the Sun Devils and Wildcats did, but the Trojans’ defense won’t be able to stop even the anemic UCLA attack.

The Bruins have tried all sorts of options at quarterback, and until one of them seems to work for a prolonged period, it’s going to be hard to bet them in a rivalry road setting. Still, their top-10 defense, as per EPA, should keep them in this one.

UCLA vs USC Best Bets

UCLA +6.5 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

UCLA’s defense provides the perfect counter to the USC offense, and while the Bruins might not have the juice on the other side to actually pull off the upset, they will slow down Williams enough to stay competitive.

USC has had a quietly-strong rushing attack, which has been relatively underutilized, but is still key in setting up Williams and the passing game, but it’ll have a tough day against UCLA’s sixth-ranked run defense, as per EPA per play. It’s allowing just 2.3 yards per rush, led by star edge rusher Laiatu Latu.

Latu is also a huge part of one of the country’s best pass defenses, and he’ll certainly wreak havoc in the backfield to make things tough for Williams as he tries to push the ball downfield.

Under 65.5 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The USC offense has definitely struggled against top defenses, most notably a 20-point output against Notre Dame, and most recently, 27 in that game against Oregon.

UCLA is also one of the more run-heavy teams in the country, keeping the ball on the ground on almost 54% of its offensive snaps. This should keep the clock moving on its end, although the Bruins offense, which ranks 94th by EPA per play, doesn’t have too much explosive potential regardless.

If USC decides to give Williams a lighter workload as he prepares for the NFL draft, this number could go Under with ease. UCLA’s defense is one of the nation’s best, and USC will need every ounce of its star QB’s abilities to move the ball this Saturday.

UCLA vs USC Same-Game Parlay

UCLA vs USC SGP (+154)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 Units

  • Under 65.5 (-110)
  • USC (-270)

We don’t have a ton of options for a same-game parlay this early in the week, so we’ll work with what we have and play it a bit safer than our individual picks.

Although this is a good matchup for UCLA in many ways, we’ll take USC to win outright. As rough as things have gotten for the Trojans, they’ve been pretty good at the Coliseum, showing plenty of positives even in the losses to Utah and Washington, while UCLA has been a mediocre road team this year.

We’ll stick with the Under, as this should be a hard-fought rivalry game where every point matters, regardless of who comes out on top.

Author

Lance Patton

Lance Patton is the Promotions Creator & Editor for The Game Day and also creates content for the NFL, college football, and college basketball. Before joining The Game Day, Lance did freelance work for a variety of sports betting websites as well as covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for FanSided.

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