USC vs Utah Odds, Picks and Predictions: Trojans Tackle Pac-12 Championship

Two teams will battle it out for the Pac-12 title when USC looks for revenge against the Utes. With a CFP bid on the line, our college football betting picks are all in on Caleb Williams and the Trojans to get the job done Friday.

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2022 4:55 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Caleb Williams USC Trojans Pac-12 Championship
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Two teams remain standing in the Pac-12 and they’ll face off at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas tonight with the conference championship on the line.

Lincoln Riley’s “upstart” USC Trojans assured a spot in the College Football Playoff bracket with a win, making this a must-watch game for the college football world.

Kyle Whittingham’s Utah Utes are the only team to defeat the Trojans this season. Can they pull it off again?

Find out in our college football betting picks and predictions for the Trojans vs. Utes on December 2.

USC vs Utah best odds

USC vs Utah picks and predictions

Five years. It’s been five years since a Pac-12 team made the College Football Playoff. In his first year in Southern California, Lincoln Riley had a chance to end that streak after finishing the regular season 11-1 and earning the No. 4 spot in the latest CFP rankings.

The path won’t be easy. Utah is looking for its second straight Rose Bowl appearance after winning the Pac-12 a year ago with a dominant 38-10 victory over Oregon. The Utes moved up three spots to No. 11 in the CFP rankings after Week 13’s thrashing of Colorado and will prove a tough test for Riley’s team — considering the Utes won 43-42 when these two met back on October 15.

That being said, college football odds labeled USC as the favorite in this rematch for a reason. The Trojans have rattled off five straight wins since that loss and are finding their groove to end the season — easily dispatching Notre Dame 38-27 in the regular season finale in a statement victory.

This rematch will be held at a neutral site at Allegiant Stadium, which should greatly benefit the Trojans considering the first game was a coin-flip outcome despite it being played on the Utes’ home turf. 

While USC is peaking at the right time, the Utes are struggling with injuries. Running back Tavion Thomas — who ran for 1,108 yards and 21 touchdowns a year ago — is out for the season with a turf toe injury. Arguably Utah’s two best front seven defenders may be out for this game as well, as Van Fillinger (team-high five sacks) is done for the year with a leg injury and Jonah Elliss (three sacks) is questionable this week.

Star tight end Brant Kuithe was lost for the year earlier this season and a few of the backups have been hobbled as well, leaving Dalton Kincaid as one of the only healthy bodies at the position for a team that utilizes its tight ends more than just about any other team in the country.

Everything is set up for the Trojans to win the Pac-12 and advance to the playoffs. Kyle Whittingham deserves all the praise in the world for the job he’s done at Utah, but USC has the best quarterback in the country (more on him later) and is getting better as the season wears on, a scary notion considering some of the talent on this roster.

My best bet: USC -2.5 (-120 at FanDuel)

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USC vs Utah spread analysis

This line opened at USC -2.5 but has moved to -3 at most locations. There is still a -2.5 available at FanDuel Sportsbook at the time of this writing, but it’s likely this line is at -3 or higher across the board by the time of kickoff. 

It’s difficult to talk about USC without the conversation centering around star quarterback Caleb Williams. The Oklahoma transfer is the runaway Heisman betting favorite and likely wins the award barring a disastrous performance Friday night.

His statistics are off the charts, as he’s completed 65.8% of his passes for 9.1 yards per attempt while racking up 3,712 passing yards, 34 touchdowns, and just three interceptions. He’s displayed his rushing ability with 351 yards and 10 scores on the ground. Reigning Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison, a Pitt transfer, has struggled with injuries at times this year but is now fully healthy, a scary thought for opposing defenses. 

When Utah played the three best teams in the Pac-12 on its schedule, it finished with a 1-2 record, losing to UCLA and Oregon on the road while notching a one-point win over USC at home. Its other loss came to Florida, which also came on the road. Is that a coincidence? I happen to think not, and the change to a neutral site location for the rematch should benefit USC greatly.

USC vs Utah Over/Under analysis

At the time of this writing, the total is set between 66.5 and 67 depending on the book.

The Trojans have been an Over machine, going 9-3 this season. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the team’s elite offense, ranking third in scoring offense (42.5 ppg) and fifth in total offense (506.6 ypg).

The advanced stats love the Trojans too, as they rank first in EPA (Expected Points Added, garbage time excluded) per play and third in success rate. The Utes' defense has taken a step back this year, ranking 49th in EPA per play, 40th in Success Rate, and 114th in Explosiveness. 

When Utah has the ball, it should find success offensively yet again against a moribund USC defense ranking 98th in EPA per play and 125th in Success Rate. There was some praise heaped on the Trojans’ defense for its performance against Notre Dame, but I’ll simply point out that they allowed 7.8 yards per play to an offense helmed by Drew Pyne. USC has been a sieve defensively all year, surrendering 405.3 ypg on 6.2 yards per play.

This is a high total to clear, but it’s hard to look anywhere but the Over when USC is all offense and no defense. For all the struggles that have been mentioned for Utah’s offense, it still ranks seventh in Success Rate and has simply found a way to remain effective in most matchups. It hasn’t been difficult to scheme up success against this Trojans defense, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if the Utes find a way to do see yet again.

USC vs Utah betting trend to know

USC is 4-0 ATS in its last four games against a team with a winning record. Find more NCAA betting trends for USC vs. Utah.

USC vs Utah game info

Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Date: Friday, December 2, 2022
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX

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