USC football odds for Week 12 have the Trojans as slight underdogs to the Oregon Ducks in Autzen.
The line opened at a mere 1.5-points in Oregon’s favor, according to the Vegas Insider Consensus. However, betting has quickly increased the margin to four points to the Ducks.
That is likely due to a combination of factors. For one, the Ducks are coming off an impressive win over Stanford on the road. They return home on a four-game winning streak since Vernon Adams returned from injury in mid-October.
Even more pressing is USC’s current injury crisis. The Trojans lost both middle linebackers — Cameron Smith and Lamar Dawson — to injury against Colorado. Smith, who is USC’s leading tackler as a true freshman this season, suffered a torn ACL which will keep him out for the season. His back up, Dawson, requires surgery on his shoulder, meaning the senior has suited up in the Cardinal and Gold for the final time.
Having to paper over that gaping hole at linebacker is difficult enough, but the Trojans could also have another major problem to deal with on the offensive line. Guard Viane Talamaivao tore his meniscus and will be monitored day-to-day this week to see if he can play through the injury. If not, he would be the third starter on the offensive line lost this season.
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Still, there is reason to believe the Trojans can contend with the Ducks. Interim head coach Clay Helton has his team on a four-game winning streak as well and now that USC controls its own destiny, there is added incentive to take care of business up north.
Either way, this is just the second time USC has not been favored this season. The Trojans fell to Notre Dame after being declared six-point underdogs in South Bend. They enjoyed favored status against then-No. 3 Utah, but they have also failed to cover double-digit point spreads in the past two weeks over Arizona and Colorado.