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Rose Bowl - USC vs. Penn State ATS Picks

Rose Bowl Picks

The Rose Bowl on January 2nd is a matchup of Top 10 teams as the 9th-ranked USC Trojans take on the 5th-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. Despite the fact that the Nittany Lions have the better record and are ranked higher, the Trojans are laying nearly a touchdown in this contest. USC has been red-hot, winning their last eight games and going 7-1 ATS but the Nittany Lions are not getting nearly enough respect as they are actually hotter than the Trojans having won their last nine games including the Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin.

USC Trojans vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Date and Time: Monday, January 2, 2017, 5 p.m. ET
Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Rose Bowl Odds at BetDSI: USC -6.5, O/U 60
USC vs. Penn State TV Coverage: ESPN

This is a superb matchup between two teams playing extremely well. The Trojans rebounded from a 1-3 start to finish 9-3 while the Nittany Lions have won their last nine games to go 11-2 after starting 2-2. The Trojans turned the corner when they made a quarterback switch and went to redshirt freshman Sam Darnold while the Nittany Lions have a good young quarterback of their own in Trace McSorley.

Both teams not only have potent offenses but solid defenses as the Trojans held their last five opponents to less than 100 rushing yards. USC even held down Washington and gave them their only loss of the season. Penn State’s defense did suffer a speed bump in the Big Ten title game as they gave up 31 points but the Nittany Lions have a solid front led by Garrett Sickels and Evan Schwan.

Both of these teams have the ability to score quickly so this contest could easily turn into a shootout. Oddsmakers definitely think a lot of points are going to be scored as the total on the game is 60.

These teams last met in the Rose Bowl in 2009 when it was USC winning 38-24. The Trojans are 24-9 all-time in the Rose Bowl while the Nittany Lions are 1-2.

Key Stat

USC has struggled against Big Ten teams in recent years going 0-5 ATS in their last five against the conference. Penn State is 6-0 straight up in their last six games against teams with winning records. USC has been a good team to bet under the total of late with seven of their last eight games going under. Penn State has gone under in 10 of their last 14 bowl games.

USC vs. Penn State Free Picks

I am very surprised at the number on this game as you can make a case that Penn State should be favored. The Trojans have definitely looked good lately but so has Penn State. I will take the points at BetDSI and go with the Nittany Lions in this contest.

USC vs. Penn State ATS Pick: Penn State +6.5 at BetDSI

USC vs. Penn State Score Prediction: Penn State 31, USC 30