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UCLA vs USC Predictions: Both of These Teams Do Well Offensively

Written by: Richard Janvrin
Updated November 16, 2022
11 min read
UCLA vs USC Predictions

USC is ranked No. 7 in the nation and knocking (lightly) on the door of a College Football Playoff appearance. Standing in their way, however, are the UCLA Bruins, who they need to face on the road. 

UCLA is coming off a massive loss against Arizona, 34-28. 

USC’s lone loss this year came against Utah. At this point, USC would need to put a beating on UCLA, who ranks No. 16 in the nation. 

How does the matchup shake out?

UCLA vs. USC Best Bets

Pick: USC ML (-125) at Caesars

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Let’s start by looking at each team’s passing/rushing offense.

  • USC passing offense: 10th in the nation (32 pass TDs, 316.9 passing yards per game)
  • UCLA passing offense: 37th in the nation (22 pass TDs, 264 passing yards per game)
  • USC rushing offense: 41st in the nation (21 rushing TDs, 182.5 rushing yards per game)
  • UCLA rushing offense: 8th in the nation (29 rushing TDs, 240 rushing yards per game)

As you can see, both of these teams do well offensively, but the primary way of scoring for USC is passing the ball, whereas UCLA wants to run the ball.

Let’s look at the passing/rushing defense now.

  • USC passing defense: 97th in the nation (13 passing TDs allowed, 252.7 passing yards allowed per game)
  • UCLA passing defense: 102nd in the nation (18 passing TDs allowed, 254.4 passing yards allowed per game)
  • USC rushing defense: 58th in the nation (19 rushing TDs allowed, 141.5 rushing yards allowed per game)
  • UCLA rushing defense: 34th in the nation (12 rushing TDs allowed, 124.4 rushing yards allowed per game)

We listed out all of these stats because it’s clear we’re going to get a game in which one team wants to run the ball, and the other will pass. 

USC quarterback Caleb Williams has been electric this season, throwing for 3,015 yards, 31 touchdowns, and two interceptions. He’s thrown for less than three touchdowns in a game just four times this year. He’s also taken care of the ball exceptionally well, with just seven turnover-worthy plays, per Pro Football Focus. That’s a mere 1.7% rate. 

The UCLA Bruins don’t have a cornerback that can match up with wide receiver Jordan Addison. Meanwhile, USC will have trouble with the UCLA running game led by running back Zach Charbonnet. He is averaging a monstrous 7.6 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns. 

In this one, UCLA will hope to control the clock and time of possession, but USC’s passing attack is just too good.

Don’t lay the points here, though. 

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Pick: Under 75 (-110) at DraftKings

Any time there’s a Pac-12 game, we’d like to take the over, but in this one, we’re taking the under, especially at 75.

As mentioned, UCLA will want to run the ball here and control the clock. If UCLA can control the clock and run the ball well, this favors the under despite how potent the USC passing attack will be. 

We predict USC will win this one, 37-30. This could come down to the final possession. 

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Richard Janvrin

548 Articles

After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.

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