Fresno State Bulldogs vs. USC Trojans Betting Pick
Las Vegas Bowl Betting Odds
Opening Line: USC -6
Time: 3:30 PM EST Saturday December 21, 2013 on ABC
In a great match up in the Las Vegas Bowl between a couple of ranked teams 20th ranked Fresno State faces 25th ranked USC. While USC lost their last game to cross-town rival UCLA the Trojans salvaged their season with a 5-game winning streak at the end of the season, which included beating Stanford.
Fresno State was on their way to an undefeated season and BCS bowl berth, but in their 2nd to last game of the season they lost to San Jose State in a shootout. The Bulldogs feature QB Derek Carr, who ranks first in the nation in passing yards per game and leads a team that ranks 3rd in total offense and fifth in scoring.
USC will be the first ranked team that Fresno State has faced all season while the Trojans were 1-1 facing teams ranked in the top 25.
Fresno State has lost 4 straight bowl games.
In their last games of the season Fresno State beat Utah State 24-17 to win the Mountain West Conference and USC lost to UCLA 35-14.
Fresno State is 5-7 ATS with an Over/Under record of 6-6 and USC is 6-7 ATS with an Over/Under record of 4-9.
Carr passed for at least 400 yards in 8 games on the season and FSU led the country with 73 passing plays of at least 20 yards. Carr has a great set of WR's in Josh Harper (79 rec 1,011 yards 13 TD) and Isaiah Burse (94 rec 987 yards 5 TD. Obviously it is key that the Trojans do not give up the big play in the air and they have a good pass defense ranked 32nd in the nation.
The Bulldogs are a pass first team, but they can run the ball as well. Josh Quezada and Martzee Walker combined for 1,416 yards and 13 TD on the season. USC ranks 19th in the nation in run defense, but they gave up 188 rushing yards in the season finale loss to UCLA.
USC is led by QB Cody Kesler, who had a decent season, but did not pass for over 200 yards in 3 of his last 4 games including his last 2. Marqise Lee won the Biletnikoff Award last season, but missed three games this season duo to an injury. The Trojans still have a good WR corps and they may be utilized often in this game facing a Bulldogs' pass defense that only ranks 116th in the nation. However, the FSU pass rush ranks #1 in the nation and they will have to get to Kesler to take pressure off the secondary.
Leading USC rusher Tre Madden will be a game time decision with a hamstring injury. If he cannot go Javorius Allen will get the call, which may not be a bad call since he has rushed for over 120 yards in each of his last 2 games. The Bulldogs rank a respectable 40th in the nation in run defense.Betting Trends
Fresno State is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 bowl games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. Pac-12, and they have an Under record of 5-2 in their last 7 games.
USC is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games, 20-9 ATS in their last 29 games following a S.U. loss, and they have an Under record of 11-4 in their last 15 games.
Las Vegas Bowl Against the Spread Pick
Take the Fresno State Bulldogs +6 at Bovada