USC vs. Ohio State Cotton Bowl Free Pick, Betting Preview

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Dec/29/2017 has your USC vs. Ohio State Cotton Bowl betting previews below and some free picks from the experts. The line on this game ranged between -7.5 and -8.5 as of Friday morning.

Cotton Bowl Should Feel Like a Playoff Game

CBS Sports college football writer Tom Fornelli and CBS Sports analyst Danny Kanell preview the Cotton Bowl matchup between these two teams.

Fornelli notes that both these teams would rather be playing in the Playoffs, but even though they are not, these are two of the best teams in the nation.

"This is gonna be a great game," he predicts.  "It's not a Playoff game but it will probably feel like a Playoff game."

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Motivation the Key

Mark Rogers Sports talks about the motivation factor when previewing Bowl games.

"Are you an overachieving team that may be at the sub-500 record last year and is just happy to be somewhere warm in the post season and playing in a bowl game or is it the reverse, and you would think, for Ohio State in particular, because the talk was very heavy concerning the College Football Playoff, but to a certain extent the same could be said of USC.  They had similar credentials.  Although the talk didn't necessarily center around USC, there was still a glimmer of hope they could possibly catch somebody in regards to a fanction of that 13 person committee and push themselves into the Playoffs."

Ryan Abraham of tells Mark Rogers that, for USC, winning the PAC 12 was really the goal.

"I think that was their reward.  I think the motivation factor should be okay," he says.

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Buckeyes By More Than a Touchdown?

Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports believes Ohio State may be the better football team here, just not by more than a touchdown.

Ohio State's an outstanding football team, but when the spread for this game was first released, my initial impression was that even if the Buckeyes are better than the Trojans overall, there's no way they're more than a touchdown better. I still feel that way. I won't be surprised at all if Ohio State wins this game -- in fact, I expect it to -- but it won't win comfortably. Pick: USC +7.5

- Don Shapiro,

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