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Stanford vs. USC - 12/1/17 College Football Pac-12 Championship Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Stanford Cardinal (9-3) at USC Trojans (10-2)

College Football: Friday, December 1, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Levi's Stadium)

The Line: USC Trojans -4 -- Over/Under: 58.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Stanford Cardinal and USC Trojans meet Friday in the college football Pac-12 Championship at Levi's Stadium.

The Stanford Cardinal look for a fourth straight victory while winning their 16th conference title in school history. The Stanford Cardinal have won eight of their last 11 non-home games. K.J. Costello is completing 61.1 percent of his passes for 1,169 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. Costello has five touchdown passes and one interception in his last two games. JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Trenton Irwin have combined for 1,069 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while Kaden Smith has 19 receptions. The Stanford Cardinal ground game is averaging 210.4 yards per contest, and Bryce Love leads the way with 1,848 yards and 16 touchdowns. Defensively, Stanford is allowing 20.7 points and 390.3 yards per game. Justin Reid leads the Stanford Cardinal with 88 tackles, Harrison Phillips has 6.5 sacks and Ben Edwards has two interceptions.

Stanford vs. USC - 12/1/17 College Football Pac-12 Championship Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans look for a fifth straight victory to win their 39th conference title in school history. The USC Trojans have won seven of their last nine non-home games. Sam Darnold is completing 63.3 percent of his passes for 3,462 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Darnold has two or more touchdown passes in nine of his last 11 games. Deontay Burnett and Tyler Vaughns have combined for 1,630 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns while Steven Mitchell Jr. has 39 receptions. The USC Trojans ground game is averaging 196.5 yards per contest, and Ronald Jones II leads the way with 1,346 yards and 16 touchdowns. Defensively, USC is allowing 26.2 points and 409.9 yards per game. Cameron Smith leads the USC Trojans with 95 tackles, Rasheem Green has eight sacks and Jack Jones has four interceptions.

The Cardinal are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Friday games, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games and 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in December. The Trojans are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games, 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 conference games and 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Cardinal are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings in Southern California and the over is 16-7 in the last 23 meetings.

Stanford is a tough team that is well coached, physical and plays hard, so there's always value with the points and the Cardinal. But there's a lot of things working against Stanford here. Stanford is coming off a hard fought win over Notre Dame last week and has to play on six days rest while USC hasn't played since November 18. Bryce Love, who is the heart of Stanford's offense, is still battling injury issues, and you have to wonder just how effective he'll be dinged up against an athletic USC defense. The Trojans can also ask less of Darnold with Ronald Jones II enjoying his best stretch of his career that includes eight rushing touchdowns in his last four games. There's also no overlooking the Trojans beatdown over Stanford earlier in the season in which they produced over 600 yards of offense and scored 14 points in three of the four quarters. USC is simply the deeper, more talented football team and as long as it limits the turnovers and plays clean football, this should be a comfortable victory for USC. 

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