The USC Trojans had hopes of playing in the BCS championship game, but after an incredibly disappointing season they instead will settle for a New Year's Eve day date with a 6-7 Georgia Tech team in the Sun Bowl in El Paso (2 pm ET, ESPN).
The early Sun Bowl odds showed Southern Cal, which lost five games this season, going 5-4 in Pac-12 play, was favored by 10 points over the Yellow Jackets, who won the ACC's Coastal Division by default, then lost to Florida State in the conference championship game.
Nine of the past 11 Sun Bowls have played OVER the total, but spread bettors pay close attention to USC’s 7-1 ATS record in eight recent bowl games. As well, Georgia Tech is just 2-7 ATS in its past 9 bowl games. [ More Sun Bowl betting stats, trends and lines ]
Betting Line: Bettors going with the Trojans in this game found them listed as 9.5-point favorites on the betting line at Sportsbook.ag earlier in the week. The total was 64 in early wagering at .
How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Southern Cal's No. 37-ranked offense (34.2 PPG) against a Yellow Jackets defense that ranks No. 79 at 29.9 PPG. The Trojans passing attack has averaged 296.9 yards per game, more than the Yellow Jackets give up through the air (239.2 YPG on average).
Defensively, the Yellow Jackets feature the league's No. 45-rated road run defense, allowing 151 yards per game. Southern Cal, meanwhile, ranks No. 78 in rushing offense at home.
In their last action, Georgia Tech was a 21-15 loser at home against Florida State. They covered the 15.5-point spread as underdogs, while the combined score (36) was profitable news for UNDER bettors. The Yellow Jackets suffered a Week 14 loss against Florida State in their last game, falling 21-15 at Bank of America Stadium.
Southern Cal was a 22-13 loser in their most recent outing at home against Notre Dame. They failed to cover the 4.5-point spread as underdogs, while the total score (35) made winners of UNDER bettors. In their last game, the Trojans were Week 13 losers coming out on the wrong end of 22-13 score against Notre Dame.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Trends:
When playing in December are 2-8
When playing on turf are 5-5
After being outgained are 5-5
When an underdog on the road are 3-7
Southern Cal Trojans Trends:
When playing in December are 7-3
When playing on turf are 8-2
After being outgained are 7-3
When favored at home are 10-0
A few Yellow Jackets at Trojans trends to consider:
Southern Cal is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games
Southern Cal is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Southern Cal is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games