NCAAF No. 5 Washington at No. 25 Southern Cal Betting Preview

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:

First place in the Pac-12 (at least this week) is on the line late Saturday afternoon, the No. 5 Washington Huskies  (8-0, 5-0 in conference) visiting the No. 25 USC Trojans (7-2, 5-1).

These teams are ranked first (USC-45.9 points per game) and fifth (Washington-40.4 points/game), respectively, in scoring in the nation.

Game time at the Coliseum is 7:30 PM ET.

Washington was a 42-33 winner at Stanford last week, with neither defense playing particularly well. UW had previously grinded out a 15-7 home victory over the Arizona St. Sun Devils, needing a dozen unanswered points in the final quarter. Washington was outgained by the Devils, and ended with just 13 rushing yards.

USC was ultimately able to survive at California, 50-49, last week, as the Bears could not connect on a potential game-winning two-point conversion in the final minute.

It’s the Huskies as four-point favorites (total at a huge 76), according to college football odds.

Moneyline is Washington -170, USC at +148.

Huskies on Move

Washington is one of four teams in the country averaging in excess of 500 yards per game (501.3, fourth), and its 399 yards/game through the air is better than anyone.

Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (2,945 yards, 24 touchdowns, six interceptions) is having a season worthy of a Heisman, but those six picks are a bit of an issue. However, he’s going against a defense that would have to be graded on a curve just to get to porous.

Wide receivers Rome Odunze (51 receptions, 907 yards, seven touchdowns) and Ja’lynn Polk  (46 receptions, 836 yards, seven touchdowns) are as lethal a combination as there’s been in the college game this season.

Running back Dillon Johnson (87 carries, 430 yards, six touchdowns) keeps opponents honest.

USC Can’t Defend

USC isn’t containing anyone on defense, having surrendered 32.6 points per game (107th in nation. An abysmal 420.9 yards/game (No. 105 out of 133 DivisionI teams this season).

Trojan opposition has scored 41, 41, 48, 34 and 49 points, respectively, in the last five games. A moribund Cal Bear team ripped USC to the tune of 527 total yards as the Trojans are thisclose to slipping completely out of the polls.

Quarterback Caleb Williams (2,646 yards, 25 touchdowns, four interceptions) has an array of nine targets with at least 10 receptions. Tahj Washington (35 receptions, 711 yards, five touchdowns and Brenden Rice (30 receptions, 519 yards, nine touchdowns) are the leaders. 

Take the Huskies

If you’re a fan/believer, Washington is 16-1 (+1600) to win the title, while USC has ballooned to 500-1 (+50000), as per college football championship odds.

Quarterbacks Michael Penx Jr. and Caleb Williams are arguably the best players in college football this season, explaining why the total on this game is so high. That, and the Trojans’ pitiful defense

That latter note is why we lean toward the visitors here.

This isn’t going to be a blowout, but we do expect Washington to take control at some point. Bet the Washington Huskies -4. Go under, too.

- Don Shapiro,

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