A whole lot will be riding on the outcome of Friday night’s Pac-12 Championship Game between the Utah Utes and the USC Trojans. For Utah, a win would ensure a return trip to the Rose Bowl Game. Meanwhile, USC can punch its ticket to the College Football Playoff by successfully avenging a one-point loss to the Utes from earlier this season. If the Utah vs USC odds are any indication, perhaps the best prediction to make is that the Pac-12 Championship Game will be a thriller.
The following game preview provides the college football betting odds, trends and FEI Index ratings before sharing our official Utah vs USC prediction for the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Utah vs USC Prediction | College Football Betting Picks
2022 Pac-12 Championship Game
Utah Utes (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12) vs. USC Trojans (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12)
Date: Friday, December 2, 2022
Time: 8 PM EST
Venue: Allegiant Stadium — Las Vegas, NV
Utah may be out of the running when it comes to the College Football Playoff, but a second straight Pac-12 Conference title is still attainable. The Utes had to get some help last week in the form of an Oregon loss but ultimately emerged as the team that will challenge USC in Las Vegas. Unlike so many teams across the country, Utah is solid on both offense and defense. Quarterback Cameron Rising had his best game of the season in the Utes’ 43-42 victory over USC back in mid-October.
Of course, USC quarterback Caleb Williams was pretty impressive in his own right in the first matchup against Utah. Williams has thrived under head coach Lincoln Riley in the duo’s first year in Southern California to the point that many believe he is a lock to win the Heisman Trophy. The big question for the Trojans is whether a defense that has thrived off of generating takeaways can replicate that means of success against a polished opponent.
Utah vs USC College Football Betting Picks and Odds
All college football betting odds for Utah vs USC can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.
Moneyline: UTA: (+135) | USC: (-160)
Point Spread: UTA: +3 (-115) | USC: -3 (-105)
Total: 68 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
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College Football FEI Ratings
The following table shares the Fremeau Efficiency Index rankings for both teams involved in this Pac-12 Championship Game matchup. The purpose of the FEI ratings is to represent the per-possession scoring advantage that a team would be expected to have on a neutral field against an average opponent. The rankings for offense and defense are out of 131 total FBS-level teams.
Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) ratings are from Football Outsiders
|Team||Overall FEI (Rk)||OFEI (Rk)||DFEI (Rk)|
|Utah||.81 (11)||1.06 (17)||.62 (23)|
|USC||.76 (13)||1.92 (1)||-.40 (93)|
Utah vs USC College Football Betting Trends
- Utes are 13-2 straight up in their last 15 games against Pac-12 opponents.
- The total has gone UNDER in four of the Utes’ last five games.
- Trojans are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall.
- Each of the Trojans’ last six games has gone OVER the total.
- Trojans are a perfect 12-0 straight up in their last 12 games as a betting favorite.
- Six of the last eight Utah vs USC head-to-head meetings have gone OVER the game total.
- In the last ten head-to-head meetings between the teams, the Utes and Trojans have posted identical 5-5 records both straight up and ATS.
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Utah vs USC Prediction | College Football Betting Picks
The fact that the Pac-12 Championship Game takes place at a neutral site makes the Utah vs USC odds a true indicator of how the market views these two teams. A three-point spread in favor of the Trojans differs from how most had the two schools power-rated coming into the year. Of course, USC is the team with the Heisman Trophy frontrunner at quarterback and the potential to make the College Football Playoff. As such, one can’t help but wonder if the Trojans are overpriced in this spot.
Aside from its three toughest true road games of the season, Utah has largely dictated terms against all comers. Quarterback Cameron Rising was uncharacteristically bad in the loss at Oregon two weeks ago. The fact that he already carved up the USC defense once this season offers optimism that Friday’s conference title game will be no different. Caleb Williams and the Trojans’ offense are too good not to get theirs. However, Utah has the goods to keep pace.
Many felt that the Utes’ offense would take a major step back after tight end Brant Kuithe was lost for the season to injury. Instead, fellow tight end Dalton Kincaid emerged as Rising’s top target. USC had no answers whatsoever for the senior back in October as he hauled in 16 receptions for well over 200 yards. If the Trojans throw more defenders at Kincaid on Friday, it will likely only open up more opportunities for Utah’s other pass-catchers.
UTAH COVERS will be our official college football betting Utah vs USC prediction for the Pac-12 Championship Game.
For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives Utah a 61.2% chance to win this game outright.
Bet: Utah +3 (-115 at Bovada Sportsbook)
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