The USC Trojans take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. Check out our college football odds series for our USC Arizona State prediction and pick. Find how to watch USC Arizona State.
The Arizona State Sun Devils are missing a number of offensive linemen in this game. Beyond that, ASU has 10 players unavailable for this game who were either projected opening day starters or who have started games for this team at some point this season. ASU is noticeably shorthanded, and the team's lack of reinforcements was already evident a week ago in a 29-0 home-field loss to Fresno State.
ASU is already in a transition year to begin with. The program has a first-year head coach, Kenny Dillingham, who is trying to figure out how to build a winning culture. With all the injuries, he hasn't had any chance to field the best possible starting lineup. Even if he could get his best available starters, Dillingham would be working with modest talent, given the transfer portal exodus in the offseason, which is to be expected when a coaching change occurs. Now hit by injuries, Arizona State doesn't even have access to its best players. The depleted program is working with a lot of second-stringers. Drew Pyne, who was not the starting quarterback for this team in Week 1, will start in this game against USC. The opening day starter was freshman Jalen Rashada. He got hurt in Week 2. Second-string quarterback Trenton Bourguet was hurt this past Saturday against Fresno State. Pyne, the transfer from Notre Dame, will get the call even though he has been suffering from a leg injury and — from August — a hamstring injury.
Arizona State has one of the thinnest rosters in the country. Now it must face USC, Lincoln Riley, and Caleb Williams.
Here are the USC-Arizona State College Football odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: USC-Arizona State Odds
USC Trojans: -35.5 (-105)
Arizona State Sun Devils: +35.5 (-115)
Over: 61.5 (-110)
Under: 61.5 (-110)
How To Watch USC vs Arizona State
Stream: Fox Sports app
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT
*Watch USC vs Arizona State LIVE on fuboTV (click for free trial)*
Why USC Could Cover the Spread
Arizona State really is completely decimated in terms of injuries, especially on the offensive line. Any team with a realistic chance of beating USC — or at least keeping a game close and competitive — begins with having an offensive line which can outplay USC's defensive line. This sets up a dynamic in which a team can control the ball, keep Caleb Williams off the field, and limit USC's offensive possessions. Arizona State is simply not in a position to make USC squirm with discomfort. The Trojans should be able to get very big, very fat lead before halftime and then continue to pile up points in the second half.
Why Arizona State Could Cover the Spread
The Sun Devils are not going to win this game, but they can cover. If they can go to the locker room at halftime down by 21 to 28 points, they might fall behind by 35 to 42 points midway through the second half. However, if USC gets a huge lead, Caleb Williams is going to be pulled from the game. Backup Miller Moss will come in. USC scored just seven points in the second half last week with Moss at quarterback. USC might step off the gas pedal well before the game is over. Taking it easy in an attempt to rest starters could enable Arizona State to outscore USC in the fourth quarter of a blowout. USC might lead by 42 after three, but ASU could score a late touchdown to bring the margin of victory to 35, which would be an ASU backdoor cover.
Final USC-Arizona State Prediction & Pick
The offensive line injuries for Arizona State are simply too significant here. Take USC.
Final USC-Arizona State Prediction & Pick: USC -35.5