USC Trojans vs. Washington State Cougars Odds, College Football Betting Pick ColumnistSeptember 25, 2017

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold, left, hands off to Stephen Carr (7) California's during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The Southern Cal Trojans own superiority in the series with the Washington State Cougars, winning nine of the last 10 meetings outright, going 7-3 against the spread in the process. The Trojans hope to continue their winning ways when they hit the Pac-12 road to clash with the Cougars on Friday night.


College football point spread: The Trojans opened as 5.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 41.4-31.8 Trojans (College football picks on every game)

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Why the USC Trojans can cover the spread

USC is 4-0 and 2-0 in Pac-12 play after holding off Cal in Berkeley on Saturday 30-20. That game was tied at 13-13 through three quarters, until the Trojans used a 17-0 run to take control. Southern Cal, as a 17-point favorite, had the spread pushed with a 30-13 lead but gave up a Bears touchdown with just under two minutes to go, one play after allowing a fourth-and-10 conversion.

On the day USC actually got outgained by Cal 416-356, but the defense forced six Bears turnovers, which led directly to 17 Trojans points. Southern Cal committed two turnovers of its own, both inside Cal territory. Otherwise, that game might not have been as close as it was.

Southern Cal has now outgained three of four opponents this season and outrushed three of four foes.


Why the Washington State Cougars can cover the spread

WSU is also 4-0 this season following a 45-7 victory over Nevada on Saturday. The Cougars led 14-0 after one quarter, 35-0 at the half and 45-0 before finally allowing the Wolf Pack to hit the board with under two minutes left and covered a 28-point spread.

On the evening Washington State outgained Nevada 560-151, earned a 31-13 advantage in first downs and won time of possession by a lopsided 39/21 margin. Quarterback Luke Falk hit on 36 of 47 throws for 478 yards and five touchdowns and now owns a 14/1 touchdowns/interceptions ratio on the season. Meanwhile, the Cougars defense almost pitched its second shutout of the year.

Washington State has now outgained each of its four opponents this season, three by large margins.


Smart pick

USC is favored for this game, and rightfully so, but the Trojans are not exactly rolling over foes. They struggled with Western Michigan, Texas and Cal. Also, running back Ronald Jones missed last week's game with a bad ankle, and his status for this game is uncertain. Smart money here at sports betting sites takes the points with the home-dog Cougars.


College football betting trends

USC is 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games against Washington State.

The total has gone under in four of Washington State's last five games on Friday.

Washington State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games in Week 5.


All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.