Pac-12 Title Game Will be Missing Leading Rusher for Both Teams
Never count out the Utah Utes. It didn’t look good for the defending Pac-12 champions to return to the conference title game. However, Utah took care of business against lowly Colorado and got some help when Oregon State upset Oregon. So now Utah will try to join the 2011 and 2012 Stanford teams and the 2019 and 2020 Oregon squads as the only repeat champions since the inaugural Pac 12 championship game was held in 2011. The Utah vs Southern California odds list the Utes as the underdogs.
After a wild final weekend of the regular season, USC has a chance to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff with a win on Saturday. It would be the first time a Pac-12 team made the field since Washington in 2016.
Southern California (+1200) is tied for third with Texas Christian, and California in the odds to win the national title. USC moved up a spot to No. 4 in the Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association polls after Michigan’s win over Ohio State. Utah sits in 12th in both polls.
Utah 9-3 (7-2 in the Pac-12), Southern California 11-1 (9-1)
Date, time (TV):
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.
Streaming: Live Stream Sports
Even after losing linebacker Devin Lloyd to the NFL, Utah has the top defense in the Pac-12. The Utes have allowed fewer yards than they did a season ago. Even with that, the Utah vs USC betting odds are in favor of the Trojans for the second time this season.
After allowing 1,068 yards in back-to-back games against UCLA and USC, the Utah defense stiffened and gave up an average of 272 yards in the final five games of the regular season.
Safety Cole Bishop leads Utah with 68 tackles while second-leading tackler R.J. Hubert is a Nevada native playing about an hour’s drive from his Logandale home.
Utah was +8 in turnover margin in the first five games of the season and -1 over the last seven contests.
Quarterback Cameron Rising has one touchdown pass and five interceptions in Utah’s three losses compared to 21 TD throws and two interceptions in the nine victories.
Not long after Lincoln Riley made the surprising decision to leave Oklahoma to take over the USC program, this was where the Trojans were expected to be.
Quarterback Caleb Williams, now the Heisman Trophy front-runner, followed Riley to Oklahoma as part of the top-rated class of transfers in the country. The Utah vs USC betting odds have the Trojans as the favorites.
Leading rusher Travis Dye (Oregon), receiver Jordan Addison (Pittsburgh) and tackler Shane Lee (Alabama) are among the prominent transfers.
USC can match anybody in the country in offensive talent. The defense has been a bit of a work in progress and that was evident in the loss to Utah.
Utah vs Southern California Injury Update
Utah running back Tavion Thomas announced on social media that he injured his toe and won’t be playing in the title game or the bowl game either.
As for USC, Dye (knee) is out while most of the other injured players have been sidelined since September or October.
Utah vs Southern California Head to Head
Utah has won the last two games against USC and that included a wild 43-42 affair in mid-October.
Six of the last eight meetings went over the total. Five of the last nine matchups were decided by seven points or less.
An average of 65 points have been scored in the last five games in the series won by Utah while 49 points were scored in the last five USC wins.
Utah vs Southern California Betting Preview
The teams combined for 1,118 yards and 12 touchdowns in the regular-season meeting so the teams have a tough act to follow in a game that wasn’t decided until Utah went for broke and had a go-ahead two-point conversion with 48 seconds left to play to hand USC its only loss of the season. When looking at the college football scores, it would be hard to match the action that was in the 43-42 win by Utah last month.
Nine of USC’s 12 games finished over the total while four of the last five Utah games went under the total.
The teams combined to convert on 12 of 22 plays on third down so will the defenses offer more resistance in the rematch?
There was very little movement in the college football spreads when the teams played in October as it opened with USC favored by three points and moved to 3.5. Without much suspense in the injury department, the line doesn’t figure to be adjusted much this week either. USC is currently a 3-point favorite with the total set at 67.
USC features Pac-12 tackles for loss leader Tuli Tuipulotu while Utah’s Clark Phillips has a conference-leading six interceptions; perhaps the offensive players won’t have all the fun.Follow us on Twitter
Can’t get enough? Here’s more!
- Group of Five Football Betting Odds: Huge Tests on Tap for Tulane Green Wave and Toledo Rockets
- College Football: Expected Totals for NCAA Football SEC Wins
- College Football Big Ten Teams: “Expected to Win” Totals in the West
- NCAAF Team Stats
- Big 12 Week 8 Betting Odds: Undefeated TCU Faces Another Huge Test