The USC Trojans have a chance to make the College Football Playoff if they can beat the Utah Utes this Friday. Utah is intent on winning back-to-back Pac-12 championships for the first time in school history. Utah made the Rose Bowl for the first time last year. If Utah wins here, it would go back to back. A USC victory likely sends Washington to the Rose Bowl against Ohio State or Penn State.
Utah Utes vs. USC Trojans
Date: Friday, December 2nd, 2022 – 8:00 PM ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
College Football Odds: USC -2.5
Splits & Betting Trends
The Utah Utes are 3-3 away from home this season, but this is a neutral-site game in Las Vegas and not a true road game for the defending Pac-12 champions, who are trying to repeat and go back to the Rose Bowl. Utah is 2-4 against the spread when playing away from Salt Lake City and Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games.
The USC Trojans are 4-1 straight up when away from home this season. They are 3-2 ATS when playing away from the Los Angeles Coliseum, their home stadium. They are only 2-2 ATS when playing games outside of Los Angeles, since their “road” game at UCLA was still played in Los Angeles. USC is 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games.
The Utes crushed Colorado last week, 63-21. Colorado is an extremely bad team, and Utah made easy work of the Buffaloes. Crucially, the game was so easy that Utah was able to pull a lot of its starters before the fourth quarter and get added rest for this upcoming game versus USC. Utah is very banged up for this game, however. Tight end Dalton Kincaid suffered a slight injury versus Colorado. He will play in this game, but he might not be 100 percent. Pass rusher Van Fillinger is out, as is pass rusher Jonah Elliss. Utah will face a very tough task in trying to generate pressure on USC quarterback Caleb Williams, who has been excellent this season.
Utah quarterback Cam Rising will play, but he is not 100-percent healthy after suffering a late-October injury which definitely limited his mobility and overall effectiveness in a recent loss to Oregon on November 19. Rising’s best game of the season came against USC on October 15 when he threw for more than 400 yards. 234 of those throwing yards went to Kincaid, who caught 16 passes and dominated USC’s defense.
The Trojans defeated Notre Dame, 38-27, to move to 11-1 for the season. Caleb Williams threw and ran for touchdowns in a complete performance which made him the front-runner for the 2022 Heisman Trophy. Williams has thrown only three interceptions all season long, showing a level of discipline many people didn’t think he possessed. If he doesn’t commit a turnover in this game, USC’s chances of winning improve.
USC’s pass defense has been very weak in recent weeks. The Trojans have been giving up large amounts of yards and high rates of completions. Notre Dame did not throw an incomplete pass until the fourth quarter of this past Saturday’s game. It’s a huge concern for the Trojans heading into this massive game.
At the end of the day, though, take a look at the Utah home-away splits. They’re a completely different team when at home – especially the offense. The Trojans look like a good bet on the spread and moneyline here.
Utah vs. USC Prediction:
USC 41, Utah 34