The 3-1 USC Trojans, after righting their ship with a victory over Cal, look for conference victory No. 2 when they visit the 2-2 Utah Utes Thursday night (9 pm ET, ESPN).
Southern Cal, which last played in Salt Lake City 95 years ago, were early 13-point favorites over the Utes, who lost their Pac-12 opener at Arizona State by 30 points.
These teams have only met twice in the past decade and both games went well UNDER the total, which had not been set at press time (check it out at 5Dimes).
Last year's game had a crazy finish with the 23-14 final score being changed to a 17-14 final score due to a game-ending TD and ensuing penalty. But the 23-14 result was restored by the Pac-12, meaning USC covered the 7.5-point spread after all.
Betting Line: Sportsbooks such as Sportsbook.ag had set the Utes as 12-point underdogs on the opening line for this contest. But the line was moving quickly in favor of USC.
Power Rankings / Prediction: The power rankings show a disparity between these teams, with the Utes rated this week at No. 49 and the Trojans sitting at No. 41. It may or may not play a role in OddsShark score prediction models that turned out a 39-25 result in favor of the Trojans this week.
How They Match Up:
The game also pits Utah's No. 96-ranked offense, averaging 23 PPG, against a Trojans defense that ranks No. 28 this week at 17.2 PPG. The Utes aerial game is averaging 190.8 yards per game, less than the Trojans secondary allows through the air, 229.5 YPG per game.
In comparing defenses, the Trojans own the league's No. 62-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 167.5 yards per game when on the road. Utah, on the other hand, rates No. 102 this week in generating rushing yards at home.
Southern Cal was a 27-9 winner in its last match at home against California. They covered the 16.5-point spread as favorites, while the total score of 36 sent UNDER bettors to the payout window. Silas Redd ran through the California defense for 158 yards in Southern Cal's last game, handing the Golden Bears a 27-9 setback on Saturday at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
In their last action, Utah was a 37-7 loser on the road against Arizona State. They failed to cover the 7-point spread as underdogs, while the combined score (44) was profitable news for UNDER bettors. Utah didn’t make much of a game of it last time out, losing to the Sun Devils as Arizona State blasted them 37-7 in Week 4 action.
Southern Cal Trojans Trends:
When playing in October are 5-5
When playing on turf are 7-3
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When playing within the conference are 7-3
Utah Utes Trends:
When playing in October are 7-3
When playing on turf are 6-4
After being outgained are 7-3
When playing within the conference are 4-6
A few Trojans at Utes trends to consider:
Southern Cal is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
Southern Cal is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Southern Cal's last 5 games
Utah is 21-4 SU in its last 25 games at home
Utah is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
Utah is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games at home
Utah is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
Southern Cal at Washington, Saturday, October 13
Utah at UCLA, Saturday, October 13