Utah vs. USC – NCAAF PAC 12 Championship Pick – 12-2

USC at UTAH PAC 12 Championship Pick
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#11 Utah Utes (93) vs #4 USC Trojans (11-1)

USC moved into the CFP top 4 with Ohio State losing last week and in the Pac 12 title game look to avenge their only loss of the season facing Utah. USC is a 2.5-point favorite in this game with the total sitting at 66.5.

The betting public have backed the Trojans in this game, as they opened as a 1.5-point favorite and as of Wednesday are a 2.5-point favorite.

On the season Utah is 7-5 ATS with an O/U record of 6-6 and USC is 8-4 ATS with an O/U record of 9-3.

USC’s only loss of the season was to Utah falling 43-42 at Utah is mid-October. This Pac 12 championship game is being held at the neutral site of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Do It Again

Utah took down USC in the regular season and look to do it again and an upset would likely dramatically improve their bowl situation. In the win over the Trojans, they outgained them 562 yards to 556 yards and with how the USC offense is clicking the Utes will probably have to light up the scoreboard to get the win.

The Utes are led by a ground attack that ranks 10th in the nation in rushing yards per game but they have a legit passing attack ranking 49th in passing yards per game.

Cameron Rising (2,629 yards 22 TD 7 INT) passed for 415 yards with 2 TD and no INT in the win over USC and was not sacked once. He will be counted on for a big game and has to avoid the turnovers, which he did not do in the game before the last one where he had three INT in a loss to Oregon.

TE Dalton Kincaid leads the Utes with 850 yards and 8 TD and the WR duo of Devaughn Vele and Money Parks have combined for 909 receiving yards. Utah has five players with over 300 rushing yards led by Tavion Thomas (687 yards 7 TD) and QB Rising (391 yards 6 TD).

USC’s defense is giving up an average of 26.3 ppg and rank 104th in the nation defending the pass and 48thdefending the run.

Strike a Pose

USC beat a ranked Notre Dame team in a huge game last week where likely Heisman winner Caleb Williams struck the Heisman pose multiple times.

USC beat a hot and ranked Notre Dame team 38-27 in their last game where Williams passed for 232 yards with a TD and also rushed for three TDs. The dual threat QB has passed for 3,712 yards with 34 TD and only three INT and he broke the Trojans record with 44 total TD this season.

USC has a loaded WR corps with three players with at least 545 receiving yards led by Jordan Addison (810 yards 8 TD), who is averaging 15 yards per catch.

While the loss of lead RB Travis Dye was a big one the Trojans still have Austin Jones (609 yards 5 TD), who has rushed for 274 yards in the last two games. On top of that Williams ranks third on the team with 351 yards and he has rushed for six TD in the last three games.

Our Pick

Utah is 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and have an Under record of 4-1 in their last five games.

USC is 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games, overall, but they have failed to cover the spread in 10 of their last 1 neutral site games.

The underdog has covered the spread in the last four games between these teams.

Prior to the season many had Utah pegged as a possible final four team. Instead, it’s USC with a chance to make it to the playoffs with Utah being reduced to the role of spoiler.

But playing spoiler may be all the motivation that’s needed. Many of the numbers we use to come up with a line on a college football game have this game a toss up while our model has Utah winning straight up 5 to 9 points.

We’re not overly impressed with USC. Teams that deserve a spot in the final four typically don’t squeak by teams like Arizona and Cal. There are a couple of +3’s left on the board and we’ll gladly take the spot with a Utah team we feel has a great chance at a straight up win here.

UTAH +3 

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