USC vs Utah prediction: Back the underdog in the PAC-12 championship

One of the best games of this college football season will get a well-deserved reminder on Friday when USC takes on Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game – seven weeks after the Utes handed the Trojans their only loss of the league. year in a 43 -42 thriller.

Sportsbooks are expecting a different outcome this time around, considering USC a slim 2.5-point favorite at BetMGM, and bettors have mostly sided with the top-ranked team in this one. Can the Trojans avenge their previous loss, or will Utah ruin their conference rival’s budding playoff hopes?

Here’s how we bet on Friday’s contest, which kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on PKB.

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USC vs. Utah odds (via BetMGM)

  • USC -2.5 (-115), moneyline -150
  • Utah +2.5 (-105), moneyline +125
  • O/U 67 (-110)
USC quarterback Caleb Williams jumps into the end zone for a touchdown
USC quarterback Caleb Williams jumps into the end zone for a touchdown
Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

USC vs Utah Prediction and Analysis

First, let’s start all of this with a caveat: this line tends towards 3 as kickoff approaches, and getting that half point would be well worth the wait if you like Utah. If you can’t wait, though, the Utes are still the best game here, no matter how you slice it.

It’s clearly not the sexy choice given the sizzle of this USC offense, which ranks No. 1 in efficiency by nearly every metric after a rocky start to the year. Heisman favorite Caleb Williams has been upping the ante over the past six weeks, averaging 353.7 yards passing with a ridiculous 20 touchdowns and just two interceptions while adding seven rushing scores.

Here’s the thing: Williams was stellar in that Week 7 loss to Utah (438 total yards, 5 TDs), and it didn’t matter because the Trojans defense couldn’t s ‘Stop. Instead, Cameron Rising (475 total yards, 5 TDs) stole the show that day for a unit that had 30 first downs and 562 total yards – the most by this offense against any unnamed FBS opponent. Colorado.

It’s also not like the Utes have moved away from there. They have won five of their last six games since that victory over USC, their only loss being against an Oregon team that had won 23 of its previous 24 games at home. Utah outscored its other five opponents by 27 points per game to get back to the Pac-12 title game.

There’s no denying the Utes are the most complete team here: They’re one of 10 teams to rank in the top 25 in offensive efficiency (17th) and defensive efficiency (23rd), according to Football. Outsiders. They also rank ahead of Trojans in total efficiency by Football Outsiders, ESPN’s College Football Index, and SP+ power rankings.

Tavion Thomas #9 of the Utah Utes
Tavion Thomas #9 of the Utah Utes
Getty Images

Betting on college football?

That should come as no surprise given that USC’s defense is, without exaggeration, one of the worst of any Power 5 school having allowed 34 points per game over the past six weeks. Ultimately, it will be the loss of the Trojans in this highly anticipated rematch.

USC pick vs. Utah

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