Don’t look now, but as up-and-down this season has been for USC’s, the Trojans still control their own destiny on the path to the Pac-12 Championship Game, and by association, the Rose Bowl. Despite all of the buzz about USC coach Clay Helton’s job security, the Trojans have plenty to play for this season. Coming to Los Angeles in Week 10 is No. 7 Oregon, a team still trying to remind everyone east of the Rocky Mountains that there’s a playoff contender on the west coast.
Who comes out victorious on Saturday night in Los Angeles? Let’s take a closer look at what to expect from both teams and make some picks straight up and against the spread. Will the Trojans once again benefit from their superior play at home, or is it time for the Ducks to make a national statement?
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum — Los Angeles
TV: FOX | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Oregon: A lot of voters must have fallen asleep before the end of Oregon-Washington State because the Ducks moved up the weekly rankings when, really, they were lucky to come away with a win. This team may skate on the edge frequently, but it was hard to come away unimpressed by some of the guys who have stepped up around quarterback Justin Herbert. Running back CJ Verdell had a breakout game against the Cougars with 313 total yards (257 rushing) and three touchdowns. As it so happens, the Trojans are susceptible to the run. Oregon has been leaning on its defense for much of the season, but the past couple of games have required the offense to pick up some slack. If this game gets into shootout mode, Verdell may need to have another 200-yard game.
USC: The Trojans have been a far better team at home, but how good can they really be when they’re nowhere close to full strength? You could talk at length about how injuries have affected this group, but one of the most blatant examples is at running back. It’s to the point where the Trojans are down to one healthy scholarship back, so receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was getting handoffs at Colorado (and playing well, all things considered). Quarterback Kedon Slovis put the team on his back against the Buffaloes, so we know he has that capability. But how does that hold up if there’s no run game against a better Oregon defense? USC is practically playing with both hands tied behind its back.
Game prediction, picks
I get that USC is a better team at home than on the road. There are superb athletes at wide receiver who, frankly, I would put against any defense in the country. But with Verdell playing well and the vulnerability of the Trojans’ defense against the run, I like what Oregon is bringing at the moment a little bit more. USC and Oregon certainly go match for match talent-wise, but the Trojans are running on fumes in the home stretch for a big game like this. Pick: Oregon (-4.5)
So what CFB picks can you make with confidence in Week 10, and which line is Vegas way off on? Visit SportsLine to see which teams win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has returned over $4,200 in profit over the past four seasons.