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Free Pick Breakdown & Prediction: USC v. Utah (10/15/22)

By Ryan Potts
October 13, 2022
Photo by: Tom Denton - Daily Utah Chronicle

USC vs. Utah (10/15 @ 8:00 PM EST.)

Line: USC -3.5
Total: 65

USC vs Utah Breakdown and Betting Odds

The undefeated No. 7 USC Trojans (6-0) are heading to Utah for a matchup with the No. 20 Utah Utes (4-2) on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET. The Utes are 3.5-point favorites over the Trojans. The over/under is set at 65.

USC has won two of the last three matchups, but Utah won by 16 points last season. There has been a solid home-field advantage in this matchup of Pac-12 South teams. In the 11 games USC and Utah have played since Utah joined the conference, the home team is 8-3. Last season was the first time Utah had won in Los Angeles since 1916. Every matchup since 2014 has featured at least 50 points.

USC Overview

The Lincoln Riley era is off to an excellent start as the Trojans have rolled to a 6-0 record. They are winning games by 21.5 points per game, and they have won three of four Pac-12 games by double-digits. The nation’s No. 15 scoring offense is led by Heisman candidate Caleb Williams. Williams has accounted for 17 total touchdowns with just one interception. Transfer Jordan Addison has caught six touchdowns. Running back Travis Dye has scampered for 571 yards and six touchdowns.

The defense has been no slouch. Tuli Tuipulotu leads the conference in both tackles for loss and sacks. The Trojans are allowing just 18.7 points per game, good for 26th in the country. No team has scored more than 28 points against USC this season, and three teams have been held to just 14 points. The defense has generated 16 takeaways so far including 12 interceptions. Three different Trojans have multiple interceptions, and three have a pick-six.

In Pac-12 play, USC is 2-2 ATS, twice covering spreads of at least 10 points. However, this will be USC’s first game as an underdog. The under is 3-1 in USC’s last four games. Last week, USC and Washington State combined to hit the under by 20.5 points.

Utah Overview

Utah began the season as the No. 7 team in the country, but they have lost twice, falling 13 spots in the polls. However, Utah is undefeated at home with wins by 66, 28, and 26. Utah has a robust offense, averaging 40.3 points per game. Quarterback Cameron Rising has thrown for 1,440 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is second on the team in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns as well. Running back Tavion Thomas has run for 386 yards and five touchdowns.

Cornerback Clark Phillips III leads the NCAA in interceptions with five and pick-sixes with two. He has a pick-six in his last two games, and he had a three-interception game against Oregon State two weeks ago. Beyond Phillips, Utah is holding teams to under 20 points per game. Van Fillinger has 3.5 sacks and Karene Reid has four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. The Utes held four consecutive opponents to 16 or fewer points, coinciding with their four-game win streak.

After covering double-digit spreads in four straight games, Utah lost as a favorite last week on the road against UCLA. The Utes have been flawless at home, winning and covering the spread three times. The over is 2-2 in the last four weeks.

TakingVegas.com Pick: Utah -3.5

It can be tough to pick an undefeated team to lose, but Utah has a tremendous home-field advantage. Utah -3.5 is a go-to bet here as USC is not quite as dominant on the road while Utah is one of the best teams in the country when at home. Utah has covered spreads of -45, -22, and -10.5 while at home. USC is just 1-1 ATS while on the road.

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