This Friday the No. 10 ranked Utah Utes (3-0) will visit Los Angeles to take on the USC Trojans (2-1). Kickoff is set for 9:00 EST at the LA Memorial Coliseum and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.
Oddsmakers opened with Utah as a 3.5-point road favorite, but most books have jumped the Utes up to -4.5. The total is currently sitting at 54 points.
Click on the link for a full look at the Week 4 college football odds and for more links to our game preview.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Utah vs USC
The Utes improved to 3-0 with a convincing 31-0 win at home against Idaho State. Despite coasting after taking a 17-0 lead in the 1st quarter, Utah still finished with a massive 543 to 116 edge in total yards. There wasn’t a line on this one, so it was definitely a mismatch in talent.
More than anything the Utes just went through the motions, knowing they had this massive game against USC on deck and coming off a couple of nice non-conference wins at rival BYU (30-12) and at home against Northern Illinois (35-17).
The defense has been sensational for the Utes. They held BYU to just 300 total yards in Week 1 and only gave up 302 to Northern Illinois. They are giving up just 65 rushing yards/game on a mere 2.7 yards/carry.
The Trojans went from unranked to in the Top 25 after their 45-20 thrashing of Stanford in Week 2, but their stay didn’t last long. USC is fell out of the Top 25 after a crushing 30-27 overtime loss at BYU.
The Trojans had a 7-point lead with less than 10-minutes to play in the 4th quarter, but were the ones needed to put together a let FG drive to force overtime.
After throwing for 377 yards and 3 scores against Stanford, true freshman Kedon Slovis had a little tougher time against the Cougars. While Slovis went 24 of 34 for 281 yards and 2 scores, he threw 3 interceptions. Those 3 picks were costly. Two of them resulted in 10-points for BYU and the other ended the game in OT.
Last year the Utes won 41-28 as a 6.5-point home favorite. It was an interesting game. USC jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter, but it was all Utah after that. Utes scored 34 unanswered to take a 34-14 lead going into the 4th. Utes have covered 3 straight in the series and the home team has won outright each of the last 6 meetings.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: USC +4.5
For the simple fact that we have a Top 10 team in Utah laying less than a touchdown against an unranked opponent, my initial lean would have to be on USC as a home dog. The betting public is going to be all over the Utes in this one and the public side is typically not the side you want to be on in these prime time weekday matchups.
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Not to mention there will be plenty of people who simply take the Utes here because of the fact that Utah won 30-12 at BYU and USC lost on the road to the Cougars. Much like turnovers cost the Trojans in their loss to BYU, Utah had a +3 turnover margin in their win against the Cougars. It was definitely a much more evenly matched game than the final score would indicate.
That was also not an ideal spot for USC last week. Not only did the Trojans get revenge on Stanford in a big way, they went from being a team people weren’t really talking a ton about to being in the Top 25. They also had this big game against Utah on deck, which a lot of people think will decide the Pac-12 South.
Another thing that can’t be overlooked is the atmosphere that comes with a big game like this, especially when it’s a night game in the national spotlight. The home team has dominated in this series winning the last 6, so it’s hard to not take the points in this one.
Lastly, I really like what I’ve seen from Slovis. I know the interceptions may have cost them a win last week, but that was his first start on the road. I think he bounces in a big way on Friday night. Give me the Trojans +4.5!