USC and Cal are two teams that have underachieved the first part of this season. USC ended last year with a 11.4 rating but currently have a 2.4 rating. Cal’s rating has dropped from 9.2 at the end of last season to 2.3 now. Both our rankings, which include a one year window of games with this year’s games counted twice, and rankings with only games this year suggest two very evenly matched teams. A 3 point home field advantage suggests Cal will win at home on Thursday night, which differs from the line that favors USC by 3 on the road. Moreover, Cal has played much better at home than on the road. For example, last year they gave up 2.67 yards per rush attempt at home compared with 5.03 on the road. In the air, they gave up 5.6 yards per pass attempt at home but 7.0 on the road, despite a schedule that had Stanford and Oregon visit Berkeley. With the 2.9 predicted margin of victory for Cal, USC has a 0.43 chance of pulling a road upset.
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