Holiday Bowl Betting Odds - Free ATS Pick
This season's Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 at Qualcomm Stadium pits the Big Ten's Nebraska Cornhuskers against the USC Trojans, out of the Pac-12. This contest is slated to get underway at 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Bet your Holiday Bowl pick at Bovada and get yourself a 50% Bonus on your first deposit up to $500 FREE! Be betting in minutes with your credit card!
The Cornhuskers were in prime position to win the Big Ten's West Division this season after going 4-1 SU in their first five conference games, but a 59-24 loss to Wisconsin as five-point road underdogs effectively put an end to that run. They finished the season with a home loss to Minnesota and a tight road win against Iowa to go 9-3 straight-up with a 7-4-1 record against the spread. The total went OVER in nine of the 12 games.
One of the reasons for such high-scoring games was an offense that was ranked 14th in the nation in scoring with 37.4 points a game. Ameer Abdullah was a force in the running game with 1,523 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns on 237 carries. The fact that Nebraska's defense allowed an average of 24.8 points, while giving-up 27 points or more in five games did not help former head coach Bo Pelini hold onto his job.
USC opened its season with high expectations as well, but an early loss to Boston College put a major dent in the national rankings and losses to Arizona State, Utah and UCLA ended its bid for a shot at the Pac-12 title. The Trojans went 8-4 this season both SU and ATS and the total stayed UNDER in seven of the 12 games. They went 5-4 ATS in nine games as favorites.
Cody Kessler led a passing attack that was ranked 15th in the nation in yards per game with 294.6. He threw for 3,505 yards and 36 touchdowns while completing an impressive 70.7 percent of his 413 attempts. His top target this year was Nelson Agholor with 97 receptions for 1,223 yards and 11 scores. The Trojans averaged 35.1 points a game and their defense was fairly stout; holding opponents to 23.8 points. Some of the low lights were the 37 points this unit gave up in the early loss to BC and the 38 points it was tagged with in late November in the costly loss to the Bruins.
The Cornhuskers are 5-1 ATS in their last six nonconference games, but they are 0-4 ATS in their last four games against the Pac-12. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last seven bowl games.
The Trojans are 5-1 ATS in their last six bowl games and they are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games against the Big Ten. The total has gone OVER in six of their last nine neutral-site games.
These two last met in a home-and-home series in 2006 and 2007 with USC winning both games SU and ATS. The total was split 1-1.
Nebraska vs. USC Point Spread Pick
Nebraska comes into this game with an interim coach at the helm while new head coach Mike Riley is already busy preparing for next season. There is a good chance that all the distractions over the past month will take their toll on the Cornhuskers heading into this game, but the main reason I like USC minus the six points and a hook is the simple fact that the Trojans remain the better all-around team in this matchup.