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Behind the lines

Numbers favor the Trojans

December 01, 2007|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

USC will take the field today as a 20-point favorite over crosstown rival UCLA at the Coliseum.

It's the fifth consecutive time that the Bruins (6-5) have been double-digit underdogs against the Trojans (9-2).

By now, everyone knows about last season's 13-9 victory for the Bruins, who entered as 10 1/2 -point underdogs.

But that was only the second time UCLA has covered the line against USC since 1999.

The other occasion came in 2004 when the Bruins covered as 21.5 1/2 -point underdogs in a 24-21 loss to the Trojans.

The difference between those two games compared to today is location.

The last time UCLA covered against USC at the Coliseum was 1995 when the unranked Bruins defeated the Rose Bowl bound-Trojans, 24-20.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, December 04, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 43 words Type of Material: Correction
USC-UCLA: In Saturday's Sports section, "Behind the lines" said that in 2004 the Bruins covered as "21.5 1/2 -point" underdogs in a 24-21 loss to the Trojans. The Bruins were 21 1/2 -point underdogs and the score of that 2004 game was 29-24.

Under Coach Pete Carroll, USC has averaged a victory margin of 33 points over UCLA the last three times the teams have played in the Coliseum.

UCLA Coach Karl Dorrell's team is 2-3 on the road against the spread.

But the Bruins have a few positives going their way.

UCLA has a 7-4 record against the spread, which is better than USC's 6-5 mark.

The Bruins are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games as road underdogs and 10-2 against the spread in their last 12 conference games.

The Trojans have been on a recent roll in games they've been favored, going 4-0.

USC is also 6-1 against the spread in its last seven games against a team with a winning record. simulated today's game 10,000 times with a variety of setups and USC won 93% of the time by an average score of 35-13.

Pro football

For those who believed off-the-wall NFL proposition bets were only available for big games and the Super Bowl, think again.

How about Sunday's matchup between the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans?

Here are a few proposition bets available at

* Team to receive the opening kickoff? Houston (-115) or Tennessee (-115).

* Team to score first? Houston (+110) or Tennessee (-140).

* Will there be a score in the first six minutes and 30 seconds? Yes (-120) or No (-110).


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