USC vs. Cal: TV info, betting odds, expert predictions
USC (7-1, 5-1 Pac-12) is sitting pretty in the race to Las Vegas. A Pac-12 title game appearance is well within reach for the Trojans in coach Lincoln Riley’s first season in Los Angeles. After a couple of weeks on the road sandwiching a bye week, USC finally returns to the field inside the L.A. Coliseum Saturday to host a Cal team on the complete opposite end of the conference.
The Bears (3-5, 1-4 Pac-12) have dropped four straight. The offense is sputtering. Protection has been an issue, and now the Bears get to try and contend with sack machine Tuli Tuipulotu and a Trojans defense that leads the Pac-12 in total sacks (26). Putting points on the board has been an adventure, and now Cal gets to try and contend with the nation’s No. 8 scoring offense.
Here’s all the info you need to know for the game.
TV info and kickoff time
Kickoff time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV Network: ESPN; fans can also watch the game live on WatchESPN with a cable or satellite provider login
Location: L.A. Coliseum, Los Angeles
Line: USC -21.5
Moneyline: USC -1600, Cal +860
ESPN’s FPI gives USC a 91.4% chance of beating Cal.
Bill Connelly’s SP+ is calling for a 37-16 USC win.
USCFootball.com’s Ryan Abraham likes the Trojans to cover the spread:
I’ve watched a lot (too much) of Cal football this year. While my gut says USC will be without their two best receivers again, I still think the Trojan offense can get it done against a fundamentally sound Golden Bears defense. Cal’s offense is also very bad especially on the road and I think while USC’s defense has its troubles, they will decimate the Bears bad offensive line and get a bunch of sacks and negative plays in this one. It’s a lot of points, but I think USC covers at home.
The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner picked Cal to cover the three-touchdown spread:
We would view this as a trap game for the Trojans, but it doesn’t fit the usual framework: They aren’t coming off a high-level showdown and don’t have one scheduled next week, either. But a meandering effort could be forthcoming from the heavily-favored home team. Cal has underperformed its personnel offensively and could give the Trojans more trouble than they expect. Watch for a stellar showing by rookie tailback Jadyn Ott, who’s from nearby Chino.