Bad teams are often bad bets, like the Oregon State Beavers, who are 1-4 straight up and 0-5 against the spread this season. But good teams can be bad bets, too, like the USC Trojans, who are 4-1 SU but 1-4 ATS. Two of the worst bets in college football so far this season meet when the Beavers battle the Trojans on Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum.
College football point spread: The Trojans opened as 32-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Line updates and matchup report.
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 48.1-12.7 Trojans (College football picks on every game)
Why the Oregon State Beavers can cover the spread
Oregon State is a tough case to make at the moment. The Beavers' only win so far came on a late touchdown over Portland State, and their four losses have come by an average score of 50-18. Last week OSU fell at home to Washington 42-7 and whiffed ATS as a 27-point 'dog.
The Beavers actually only trailed the Huskies 7-0 into the third quarter, as the OSU defense stiffened after giving up a touchdown on Washington's opening drive of the game. And they appeared to have stopped the Huskies on their opening drive of the second half. But the Beavers gave up a first down on a 4th-and-10, then a touchdown, and shortly thereafter the dam broke.
Three weeks ago Oregon State only trailed Washington State 28-16 well into the third quarter, before fading to a 52-23 defeat. And just before that the Beavers only trailed Minnesota 20-14 well into the third quarter, before falling to a 48-14 defeat. If they could just put a whole 60 minutes together they might keep Saturday's contest close.
Why the USC Trojans can cover the spread
Southern Cal should be seething this week, after suffering its first loss of the season last week, 30-27 at now 5-0 Washington State. The Trojans led the Cougars 17-10 late into the second quarter, and tied the score at 27-27 with five minutes to go. But they gave up a field goal with just under two minutes left and then fumbled the ball away, resulting in their first defeat in 53 weeks.
On the night USC outrushed Washington State 163-122, as running back Ronald Jones returned after missing the previous game with a sore ankle to run 14 times for 128 yards, 86 on one touchdown bolt in the second quarter. But the Trojans missed a great chance to expand a 14-10 lead when they settled for a field goal after a 1st-and-goal from the Cougars 3-yard line, and later managed just another field goal after reaching the WSU 16-yard line.
Nonetheless, Southern Cal has outrushed each of its last four opponents by a per-game margin of 169-118.
There's no way anyone with a conscience could recommend betting on Oregon State right now. The Beavers are contenders for the worst Power Five team in the country. It doesn't matter who they're playing, or what the spread is; smart money fades OSU at online sports betting sites.
College football betting trends
The total has gone under in Oregon State's last three games against USC.
USC is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games against its conference.
Oregon State is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games in Week 6.
All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.