The Arizona State Sun Devils take on the USC Trojans. Check out our college football odds series for our Arizona State USC prediction and pick.
The USC Trojans won in Week 4 at Oregon State, but not in a manner anyone expected. USC had scored at least 41 points in each of its first three games this season. The Trojans’ offense was expected to be great this year, and it certainly was in those first three games of 2022. Quarterback Caleb Williams was making great throws. He hit downfield passes in Week 2 against Stanford, and he converted a bunch of third and fourth downs in Week 3 versus Fresno State. The offensive line played well. Running back Travis Dye was exceptionally good as a versatile Swiss Army knife player who could take on different roles. Receiver Jordan Addison showed why he won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver in 2021. Receiver Mario Williams showed why he is a tremendous second option for USC after Addison. Everything came together beautifully for USC’s offense in the first three games of the season, which is why Week 4 figured to be an offensive shootout against Oregon State.
Instead, USC scored just 17 points, handcuffed by the Beavers’ defense. Caleb Williams completed only 16 of 36 passes. USC produced just one touchdown drive which was longer than 26 yards. The Trojans didn’t score a touchdown until the fourth quarter. It was a nightmare … or at least, it should have been. However, the USC defense, which gave up a lot of yards in the first three games of the season, managed to play a great game. USC held Oregon State to only 14 points and picked off four passes from Beaver quarterback Chance Nolan. USC’s defense set up one Trojan touchdown and then saved the game when the Beavers were driving in the final minute of regulation. The extraordinary turnaround from USC’s defense saved a game which, in past years, would not have gone the Trojans’ way.
Arizona State is being led by interim head coach Shaun Aguano, who replaced head coach Herman Edwards after the Sun Devils lost to Eastern Michigan and the administration fired Edwards. Aguano’s first game as ASU head coach came against the defending Pac-12 champion Utah Utes. That was not an easy assignment for the Devils, who were predictably blown out of the water, 34-13.
Arizona State’s starting quarterback is Emory Jones, who transferred from Florida in the offseason because he knew that Anthony Richardson had the inside track to being QB1 for the Gators under new head coach Billy Napier (who was once an Arizona State assistant coach). Jones has struggled to make good decisions in the pocket. He is a great runner, but he has not found an ability to adjust when defenses bring pressure against him. That has to change for an Arizona State team which lost a number of players in the transfer portal, including linebacker Eric Gentry to USC. Gentry has been one of the foremost leaders of USC’s resourceful defense.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Arizona State-USC College Football odds.
College Football Odds: Arizona State-USC Odds
Arizona State Sun Devils: +25.5 (-110)
USC Trojans: -25.5 (-110)
Over: 60.5 (-105)
Under: 60.5 (-115)
Why Arizona State Could Cover the Spread
It’s hard to believe: USC has snapped up four takeaways in three of its first four games. The Trojans are plus-14 in turnover differential, tied for first in the FBS. USC is the leading team in the nation in interceptions with 11. Those are unsustainable numbers. USC is not going to continue to rack up three or four interceptions per game and be plus-three or plus-four in turnover differential every game. If this game has an even turnover differential, USC is not going to score extra points, and it won’t prevent Arizona State from scoring. Even if ASU has a minus-1 turnover differential, that’s a lot better than USC’s other early-season opponents. It will reduce the Trojans’ margin of victory.
Why USC Could Cover the Spread
USC played poorly on offense last week against Oregon State. The Trojans will want to fix what was broken one week ago. You’re going to see a focused, determined performance from this group, leading to a big offensive explosion and a cover of the spread.
Final Arizona State-USC Prediction & Pick
USC is not fully healthy along the offensive line. The Trojans will win comfortably, but they won’t completely blow the doors off the Sun Devils.
Final Arizona State-USC Prediction & Pick: Arizona State +26.5