This Saturday the Arizona State Sun Devils will host the USC Trojans in a Pac-12 South showdown between two teams looking to get back on track for the stretch run. Kickoff is set for 3:30 EST at Sun Devil Stadium and will be televised nationally on ABC.
Oddsmakers opened up this line at USC -1.5, but early money has shifted it to the other side, as Arizona State is now a -1.5 point favorite at most books. The total for this matchup opened at 57 and is down to 56 at a few places.
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Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Arizona State vs USC
USC Trojans (5-4 SU, 4-5 ATS)
The Trojans attempt for a signature win at home over No. 7 Oregon came up short. It looked good early with USC taking a 10-0 lead into the 2nd quarter, but that’s when it took a turn for the worse. The Ducks scored 28 points in the quarter and it really felt like the air was sucked out of USC after they pulled within 21-17 on a late TD, only to have the Ducks run back the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a score. Oregon went on to win 56-24.
One thing to note is that while the Ducks won by 32-points, Oregon only had a 405-355 edge in total yards. The Ducks also got a non-offensive TD on a 32-yards pick-six.
It wasn’t the outcome the Trojans wanted, but not all is lost. USC still has an outside shot at winning the Pac-12 South, but will need some help. They are 1-game back of Utah, but will need the Utes to lose one of their final 3 against UCLA, Arizona or Colorado.
Arizona State Sun Devils (5-3 SU, 3-5 ATS)
The Sun Devils will be returning from their bye week looking to snap a two-game skid. Not a lot to be concerned with a 21-3 loss to Utah, given how good the Utes are. The same can’t be said about their most recent loss, when they fell 42-32 at UCLA as a 3.5-point favorite.
It’s just kind of been how the season has gone for Herm Edwards’ squad. They have road wins over Michigan State and Cal, who were both ranked at the time they beat them. They also lost 34-31 at home to Colorado as a 7.5-point favorite.
With 3 conference losses and having already lost to the Utes, the Sun Devils have no shot at playing in the Pac-12 title game. With 5 wins already under their belt and 4 more to play, it’s really just about bowl positioning.
Arizona State snapped a 3-game losing streak in the series with a 38-35 win at USC as a 3-point dog last year. That’s now 4 times in the last 5 meetings that the road team has won outright and covered the spread.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: USC +1.5
My early lean here would be take the points with USC in this one. I think a lot of people will be quick to look to fade the Trojans here, especially with Arizona State coming off a bye. I just think there’s some value here with USC at this price.
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I just don’t think ASU is as good as people think. This team got a lot of credit for their 5-1 start with wins over Michigan State, Cal and Washington State. At the time it was hard to argue with the hype, but as the season goes on we learn a lot more about just how good an earlier win really was.
None of those are looking great at the moment. Both Washington State and Cal are 1-4 in Pac-12 play and are no lock to even make a bowl game. Same thing with the Spartans who are 2-3 in the Big Ten and have been outscored 100-17 in their last 3 games against Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State.
I get how it ended up with USC in their blowout loss to Oregon, but that game could have went a lot different. I think if USC doesn’t give up that 100-yard kickoff return for a TD in the final 20 seconds of the 1st half, it might have went a little differently. That’s also a really good Oregon team that might just play their way into the college football playoff.
Trojans have been profitable in this spot, going 32-16 ATS in their last 48 road games off a SU loss. USC is also 10-3 ATS last 13 off a game where they allowed 40 points. ASU has failed to cover 4 of their last 5 at home and are just 3-7 ATS in the last 10 overall. Take USC!