Odds for the 2018 edition of the USC vs. Cal game opened with the Trojans favored over the Bears by less than a touchdown.
This year’s USC vs. Cal game falls on homecoming for the Trojans as they look to start a new home winning streak at the Coliseum.
Clay Helton and company lost to ASU when they last suited up in Los Angeles, ending a 19-game home streak which had been the second longest in the country.
The Cal Bears come to town next looking to end their own streak: 13 consecutive losses to USC. At the Coliseum, the Bears have an even worse mark with their last win coming in 2000.
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Who will prevail? Oddsmakers believe it’s the Trojans who have the edge, favoring USC by five points over Cal, per OddsShark.
It will be a battle of 5-4 teams on Saturday night.
Cal lost last week against Washington State, but the Bears will be feeling fairly good about where they stand on the season. They challenged the highly-ranked Cougars in Pullman, narrowly falling 19-13. The prior week, they upset Washington in Berkeley, 12-10.
The Bears’ recent success has been built on strong defensive performances. They rank 19th in S&P+ defense in 2018. However, offensive struggles have held the team back, averaging just 23.6 points per game. That’s the second-worst average in the Pac-12.
USC is coming off a 38-21 win over Oregon State in Corvallis, bouncing back after two straight losses to Utah and ASU. Those losses set the Trojans back in the race to win the Pac-12 South. However, they are not out of it yet. The Utes’ loss to the Sun Devils created a three-way tie between Utah, USC and Arizona at the top of the division at 4-3 with ASU behind but controlling their own destiny at 3-3.
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A win over Cal is must-get for USC to still contend for the Pac-12 title game.
On the season, the Trojans are 3-6 against the spread while the Bears are 4-4-1. Cal has covered all but one spread on the road.