The Trojans have gone 3-0 at home this season which is a major factor in them being -9.5 favorites in the NCAA week 8 Arizona at USC free pick. Southern Cal won and covered the -3.5 spread in last year’s 24-20 win in Tuscon, but is SC nearly double digits better than Kevin Sumlin’s team in 2019? Oddsmakers aren’t expecting a lot of defense in this one either way, with an O/U set at 67.
Arizona Tough to Back on the Road?
It’s been a very solid start to the 2019 season for Arizona with their 4-2 record. One thing to note about Saturday’s NCAA week 8 Arizona at USC free pick is that it will be just the 2nd on the road in the last six games for the Wildcats. What’s working against the ‘Cats, as is the fact that they were completely exploited in a 27-51 loss to Washington last week.
The total for Saturday’s game seems insanely high at 67 points. In last year’s meeting in Arizona the O/U was 62 though in a 24-20 USC win. Arizona hasn’t really had the explosive scoring games that you’d expect as they’ve put up more than 28 just once in the last four. The Wildcats still move the ball up and down the field at will though as their 509.3 ypg is top 10 in the country. It’s a more diverse offense than in the past too, ranking 17th in pass and 34th in the run. Khalil Tate isn’t the dual threat he was his sophomore year, but he threw for 404 and 3 TD’s in the win over Colorado two weeks ago.
Arizona may be overmatched on defense in this one. The Wildcats allowed less than 200 yards through the air to USC a year ago, but were trampled on the ground as the Trojans had 47 carries for 253 yards. The Wildcats have flip-flopped those stats this year, ranking 129th in the nation in passing yards allowed. The Wildcats have allowed at least 30 points in 4 of 6 games this year.
USC Ready to Roll Being Back at Home
The Trojans have run quite the gauntlet the last two games. They went to Washington and lost 14-28 as +12.5 underdogs and also fought tooth and nail vs. Notre Dame, ultimately falling 27-30 as +10.5 ‘dogs. There was a bye week sandwiched in there, but bet that the Trojans are happy to be back at the Coliseum, where they have wins over Utah, Stanford, and Fresno State this season.
The USC offense looks for a bounce back against an Arizona defense that allowed 450 yards of total yards to Washington last week. USC had some struggles with Matt Fink in at QB vs. Washington, throwing for only 163 yards. After an idle week, the Trojan O looked much better vs. a tough Notre Dame defense as Kedon Slovis returned and threw for 255 and 2 scores. Arizona is one of the worst teams in the country vs. the pass (321.3 ypg allowed is 129th) so SC should be able to move the ball at will in this one.
Injuries have hit the Trojans hard this year and that’s no exception heading into the NCAA week 8 Arizona at USC free pick. It’s possible USC is down their top 3 cornerbacks for this game – all of whom are replaced by freshman. That could be big for Tate, who has never beaten the Trojans in three games against his hometown team. The thing is though, Arizona might not have to pass in this game as USC allowed 308 yards on the ground to Notre Dame last week.
NCAA Week 8 Arizona at USC Free Pick
It doesn’t seem like Arizona is almost double digits worse than SC, even on the road. The Trojans offense is leaking and on top of that banged up. Tate, the Juniper Serra alum, wants this game in Los Angeles perhaps more than anything in his final college season. Arizona may not win, but they look like a good play to be at least competitive.
Pick: Arizona Wildcats +9.5