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Pac-12 Championship Free Pick: Stanford vs USC

December 1, 2017
Sam Darnold looks to lead USC over Stanford in Pac-12 title game

College football’s conference championship weekend begins on Friday when the No. 15 ranked Stanford Cardinal play the No. 9 ranked Southern California Trojans for the Pac-12 championship at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

The current line on top sportsbooks has USC favored by 4 points with the over/under point total on 58. Stanford finished its season 9-3 straight up and 5-6-1 against the spread, while USC was 10-2 SU and 3-8-1 ATS.

Stanford looks to beat USC for the Pac-12 title for the second time in the last three seasons in Friday night’s clash. Stanford has won eight of its last nine games after defeating Notre Dame last Saturday 38-20. USC is winners of four consecutive games coming into this game for the second time during this season.

The two teams played head to head September 9 and USC won 42-24 at home after amassing 623 yards on offense. USC quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns.

For Stanford, the offense is built around running back Bryce Love. The lightning fast Love rushed for 160 yards against USC in September and has rushed for 100 yards or more in 10 games this season.

Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello is now the starter after replacing Keller Chryst the last four games. Last week Costello threw for 176 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions versus Notre Dame.

Stanford’s defense will be busy against Darnold, but its secondary is led by Pac-12 co-leader in interceptions safety Justin Reid. Reid had nine tackles against the Fighting Irish, one sack and one pass breakup.

USC will look somewhat different to Stanford this time on offense. The Trojans now have Ronald Jones II as their leading rusher who replaced an injured Stephen Carr and kept the job when Carr was healthy.

Over his last four games played, Jones II has rushed for a combined 674 yards with 8 touchdowns.

The Pac-12 North Division is 6-0 in Pac-12 championship games.

Stanford is 7-3 in its last 10 games head to head with USC.

Stanford is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games played at a neutral site.

USC is 2-5-1 ATS in its last 8 games against opponents from the Pac-12.

With this free pick, we like USC to cover.

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