College Football Odds: Stanford favorites vs. USC in Pac-12 title game

The Stanford Cardinal are favorites in what should be a tightly contested Pac-12 Championship game against the USC Trojans.
Publish date:

The Stanford Cardinal are 10–1 straight up and 8–3 against the spread in their last 11 games since losing their season opener to Northwestern. The Cardinal will try to end their season on a strong note with their third Pac-12 title in four years this Saturday with a win against the USC Trojans.

Stanford is a 4.5-point betting favorite in Saturday's championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., according to sportsbooks monitored by

An inexplicable road loss to the Northwestern Wildcats and a failed two-point conversion against the Oregon Ducks are all that separate the Stanford Cardinal from a spot in this year’s college football playoff. At 10–2 SU and 8–4 ATS including wins over USC, UCLA and Notre Dame, the Cardinal are clearly one of the best teams in the country. But as is, they will have to settle for another potential trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

• SI’s coaching carousel tracker | Latest coaching rumors across the nation

The Cardinal are 10–1 SU and 9–2 ATS in their last 11 games against Pac-12 opponents per the OddsShark College Football Database.

USC makes right decision in naming Clay Helton permanent head coach

The Trojans had a strong finish to their 2015 campaign after a slow start, going 5–1 SU and 3–3 ATS including home wins over Utah and UCLA to lock up this spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC has played well under interim coach Clay Helton, prompting Athletic Director Pat Haden to remove the interim tag and appoint Helton as the team's full-time coach. Helton was able to score a win over hated rival UCLA 40–21 last week, and will try to follow that up with a Pac-12 title.

Podcast: Sizing up the Heisman race and conference title games

The total for Saturday's game is set at 58.5 points. The UNDER is 8–1 in USC’s last nine games in the month of December and 5–0 in Stanford’s last five games coming off an ATS loss.

USC and Stanford ended the season with fairly similar numbers. Stanford averages 36.9 points per game to USC’s 36, while Stanford's defense allows 23.2 points per game to USC’s 24.7. This should be a fairly even matchup and an exciting showdown between the Pac-12’s top two teams.