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USC vs. California odds, line, spread: 2022 college basketball picks, Jan. 6 predictions from model

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A Pac-12 battle is on tap between the No. 7 Southern California Trojans and the California Golden Bears at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday at Haas Pavilion. California is 9-5 overall and 9-1 at home, while the Trojans are 12-0 overall and 3-0 on the road. This will be Southern California’s first game in 19 days due to COVID-19 issues. 

The Trojans are favored by 5.5 points in the latest California vs. USC odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under is set at 128. Before entering any USC vs. California picks, you’ll want to see the college basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

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Now, the model has set its sights on California vs. Southern California. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds for Southern California vs. Cal:

  • California vs. Southern California spread: USC -5.5
  • California vs. Southern California over-under: 128 points

Featured Game | California Golden Bears vs. Southern California Trojans

What you need to know about California

California has won nine straight games at home after opening the season with an 80-67 loss to UC San Diego. The Golden Bears have won five straight overall, including a 74-50 blowout over Arizona State in conference play on Sunday. They have a game against No. 5 UCLA coming up this weekend, so this will be a challenging week for the program. 

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Grant Anticevich notched his fifth double-double of the season in the win over the Sun Devils, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Andre Kelly, who is the team’s leading scorer with 14.6 points per game, added 13 points in the win. California has covered the spread in eight of its last nine games. 

What you need to know about USC

Southern California will be eager to return to game action after a 19-day layoff due to COVID-19 issues within its program. The Trojans have had three straight games canceled or postponed, including conference tilts against Arizona and Arizona State. Their last game came on Dec. 18 when they recorded a 67-53 win over Georgia Tech in Phoenix. 

They are led by big man Isaiah Mobley, who is scoring a team-high 15 points and is pulling down 9.6 rebounds per game. He has notched a double-double in five of his last six games. USC has won six straight games against California and has covered the spread in eight of the last 12 head-to-head meetings. 

How to make USC vs. California picks

The model is leaning over on the total, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Southern California vs. California? And which side covers almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks. 

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Mike Trout injury: Angels star returns from IL, records hit in first start since July 12 vs. Tigers

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USATSI

The Los Angeles Angels reinstated outfielder Mike Trout from the injured list and slotted him in as their center fielder and No. 2 hitter on Friday against the Detroit Tigers in what served as his first game since July 12. Trout, for his part, delivered a hard-hit single in his second at-bat as part of a 1-for-4 effort with two strikeouts. The Angels won by a 1-0 final all the same (box score) with lefty Patrick Sandoval throwing his first career shutout.

Trout had missed more than a month because of a rare back condition. In a corresponding move, the Angels optioned outfielder Steven Duggar to Triple-A.

Trout, now 31 years old, batted .270/.368/.599 (169 OPS+) with 24 home runs over the course of his first 79 games this season. His contributions earned him election to the All-Star Game (which he did not appear in) and were worth an estimated 3.9 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference’s calculations. 

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Trout was dealing with what the Angels’ trainer described as “costovertebral dysfunction at T5.” It’s a condition that he’s expected to deal with for the rest of his career, though that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be limited in availability or output. 

It should be noted that Trout did not partake in a rehab assignment. Usually, players who miss more than a couple of weeks are sent out to the minors as a means of rebuilding their rhythm through the use of low-pressure in-game repetitions. Clearly, Trout and the Angels did not think that was necessary in this instance.

The Angels began a three-game weekend series in Detroit on Friday night, the first step of a 10-game, three-city road trip. Trout’s next opportunity to play in front of his home crowd won’t be until Monday Aug. 29, when the Angels welcome the New York Yankees to town for a three-game set.

Duggar, for his part, was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers earlier this month. In nine games with the Angels, he went 1-for-19 with a triple and 10 more strikeouts than walks. 



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Gausman continues to shine as Blue Jays shut out slumping Yankees

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NEW YORK – Kevin Gausman is having a tremendous season, despite regularly encountering dumb luck. Consider that the Toronto Blue Jays right-hander headed into his outing Friday against the New York Yankees worth 4.4 wins above replacement, as calculated by Fangraphs, third among all big-league pitchers. Yet his ERA of 3.16 more was more than a run above his FIP of 2.08, and then of course there was his batting average on balls in play, or BABIP, of .372, highest by a wide margin among qualified pitchers.

The way the Cleveland Guardians bled him for five runs last weekend in a 7-2 victory, finding holes on pitches that beat them, was a prime example of why the Blue Jays went 11-11 through his first 22 starts.

“It’s weird,” interim manager John Schneider said before the game. “When you put his stuff in a vacuum, he’s like, really, really, really good. So part of it is I think everyone goes through those fluctuations of up and down, lucky, unlucky, whether you’re a hitter or a pitcher. We like his stuff. Obviously, we trust it and I’m sure things will turn in his favour.”

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In start No. 23, they certainly did, Gausman dominating over seven shutout innings in pushing the Blue Jays to a third straight win, 4-0 over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

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Initially, it looked like he could be on for a night of struggle when DJ LeMahieu rocked his first pitch of the game, a get-me-over fastball at 91.2 m.p.h., 404 feet to centre where Whit Merrifield tracked it down on a play that had a 35-per-cent catch probability, and Aaron Judge followed with a walk. But Gausman escaped that inning unscathed, struck out the side in the second and allowed just three hits over the next frames while striking out seven.

The Yankees, already out of sorts for an extended period, flailed away helplessly at his mostly fastball/splitter mix, with eight of their 15 swings at splits resulting in a whiff. Even with his fastball velocity down a tick, sitting at 94.1 instead of his season average of 95, he was in command from the second inning onwards.

The offence, meanwhile, missing George Springer who fouled a ball off his knee during a five-hit effort in Thursday’s 9-2 win, didn’t make it one-sided in the same way but again posed a steady threat from the jump. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., was robbed of a home run in right by a leaping Oswaldo Cabrera on the game’s first pitch and the pressure was on from there.

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Yankees starter Jameson Taillon kept them in check until the third when Merrifield opened the inning with a single, advanced to third on Cavan Biggio’s double and scored on a Gurriel groundout.

An inning later, Alejandro Kirk opened the frame with a base hit before Teoscar Hernandez launched home run No. 18 over the wall in left-centre, having just missed a shot to centre in the second.

The Blue Jays wasted a chance to bury the Yankees in the sixth, when they put men on second and third with none out, but Lou Trivino came in for Taillon and stranded the runners. They did eventually manage to add on in the ninth when they loaded the bases against Aroldis Chapman before Ron Marinaccio surrendered a sacrifice fly to Danny Jansen that made it 4-0.

Jordan Romano then locked things down in the ninth, ensuring a brilliant night from Gausman didn’t go to waste. He’s now thrown at least six shutout innings in three of his last four starts, surrounded by that one bad-luck outing against Cleveland.

It’s a reminder of how great a season he’s having, one even better than his impressive stats suggest.

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Paul Goldschmidt launches a deep solo homer vs. Diamondbacks

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Paul Goldschmidt helped the St. Louis Cardinals grab an early 1-0 lead against the Arizona Diamondbacks, thanks to his solo homer in the first inning.



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