Arizona vs. USC kicks off this Saturday at 10:30pm EST in Los Angeles as a home game for the Trojans. USC is currently a -21.5 favorite and -1700 on the moneyline while the total is set at 72. Read on for more Arizona vs. USC best bets and predictions as points may come at a slower pace than the total implies.
Arizona Vs. USC Prediction
There are three constants in life. Death, taxes, and USC fielding a weak defense. That was once again made apparent as they failed to slow down the undersized Colorado offense. Even with a massive advantage in the trenches, Colorado had no issue with moving the ball down the field. It even got to a point they gave the Trojans a scare, but sadly couldn’t get the job done in a one score defeat.
These shootouts have now forced the market to grossly overreact, especially when you dig into USC defensive metrics. While defending the run has been practically non-existent, the Trojans shockingly do a decent job at limiting the pass attack. They rank a respectable 38th in Def Pass Success Rate and 46th in Def Pass PPA. Their major weakness in this department is defending the big play, dipping down to 109th in Def Pass Explosiveness.
Lucky for the Trojans, Explosiveness is not a factor with the Arizona Wildcat offense. They rank near dead last in connecting on the big play, ranking a lowly 127th in Pass Play Explosiveness. Their ground game doesn’t fare any better, ranking 125th in that regard. Without an ability to gain chunks at a time, this reverts Arizona back to their scheme of churning out small gains at a time. This drains the clock in our favor while also being prone to stalled out drives should USC Def Success Rate get them off the field.
Where this under gets dicey is when USC has the ball. The offense is once again the best in the nation as Caleb Williams continues to put up video game type stat lines. Lucky for us the high total gives us some padding room for a USC offensive explosion while also creating massive swings towards the under should they be forced to punt or take a field goal at any point of the game.
Caleb Williams also tends to favor middling throws over the big play, ranking sixth in Pass Success Rate in comparison to their 50th rank Pass Explosiveness. Not to say he isn’t capable of doing it, but any contained gain plays towards a draining clock with today’s new clock rules. Factor in Arizona’s ability to limit the ground game and they should be able to do their part in limiting the USC offense. Especially in the red zone, ranking 32nd in Points per Opportunity.
Arizona Vs. USC Prediction: Under 72
Arizona Vs. USC Best Odds
Even with a defense that is more open than a 24/7 buffet, oddsmakers still believe USC wins comfortably by opening them as a -22 favorite. Bettors have slightly tempered their expectations in USC to cover as a three-score favorite, backing Arizona down to +21.5 as of writing. The spread brings intrigue as the USC defense will constantly allow backdoor opportunities, especially when their backups come in late in the second half.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored in a flash as oddsmakers opened the number at an incredibly high 72.5. Bettors believe points may come at a slightly slower pace, taking the total down to as low as 71 in some shops. The total has taken on weird movement and can still be found anywhere between 71 and 72 as of writing. Be sure to have multiple sportsbooks in an effort to always take the best possible number.
Arizona Vs. USC Key Matchups
Can the Arizona front seven contain USC’s MarShawn Lloyd?
MarShawn Lloyd Vs. Arizona Front Seven
While containing Caleb Williams and the USC pass attack serves as a daunting task, Arizona should find much better success with containing the USC ground game. MarShawn Lloyd plays as their lead back, running for an astonishing 8.3 yards per carry.
What a cutback from MarShawn Lloyd 👀 pic.twitter.com/bkkERHETyB
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) September 30, 2023
Lucky for Arizona, and our under ticket, the Wildcats do an excellent job at containing rush production in the open field. They rank 12th in Def Rush Explosiveness as well as 17th in Def Rush PPA. Lloyd will have a hard time gaining anything more than small chunks at a time, keeping the clock running to our favor.