Arizona vs USC Odds, Picks, Predictions: Cats Can Keep It Close

Arizona vs USC Odds, Picks, Predictions: Cats Can Keep It Close article feature image

Kevin Langley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Arizona’s Jacob Cowing.

Arizona vs USC Odds

Saturday, Oct. 7
10:30 p.m. ET
Arizona Odds
-105o / -115u
USC Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

In the final season of the Pac-12, this game has Pac-12 After Dark written all over it.

The No. 9 USC Trojans host the Arizona Wildcats at 10:30 p.m. ET in the Coliseum for likely the final matchup between these programs for some time.

Both teams have something to prove after USC let Colorado storm back in the second half and Arizona lost to Washington, so we should get these teams' best effort tonight.

In a battle of teams loaded with offensive skill talent, USC vs. Arizona has a lot of interesting topics from a betting perspective.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Arizona Wildcats

Things are going well for Arizona in the third year of the Jedd Fisch era. The Wildcats are 3-2 and haven't been tripped up by any stupid losses, since their two defeats came on the road to Mississippi State and against No. 7 Washington last week.

Arizona's offense has been leading the charge. In spite of an injury to starting quarterback Jayden de Laura, the Wildcats are still second in Rushing Success Rate and 13th in Passing Success Rate.

The running game has really been impressive, as Arizona rushes for 5.1 yards per carry and has three running backs with at least 160 rushing yards.

de Laura is questionable to play in Saturday's game with an ankle injury, but there really isn't much of a drop-off between him and backup QB Noah Fifita. While de Laura has more big-play ability, he's reckless with the ball and already has five interceptions this season. Fifita completed all four of his passes in relief against Stanford, then threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns against the Huskies.

Arizona has certainly improved on defense, but I doubt that will really matter against USC. The Wildcats' best hope is sacking Caleb Williams with Taylor Upshaw (11th in the country with 4.5 sacks), Jacob Manu (three sacks) and the rest of the pass rush.

USC Trojans

At this point, it seems like we know what we're getting with the Trojans — an incredible offense and a shaky defense.

USC leads the country with 53.6 points per game. Its 555 yards per game is third in the country. It ranks third and sixth in Rush Success Rate and Pass Success Rate, respectively. You get the picture.

The Trojans can light up the scoreboard against seemingly anyone, and Williams makes it all happen. Williams has the look of a No. 1 overall draft pick with 1,603 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and just one pick, and those numbers would be even higher if he wasn't being taken out of second-half blowouts.

He has more than enough offensive weapons at his disposal, too. Tahj Washington leads a star-studded receiving room with 395 yards and five touchdowns, while Brenden Rice has come on strong with 338 yards and seven scores.

There are plenty of other great receivers, but the most underrated player on the whole offense is running back MarShawn Lloyd, who leads the team with 433 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 8.3 yards per carry.

Defensively, not much has changed from last year — and that's not a good thing for the Trojans. USC's defense left people scratching their heads after it gave up 28 points to San Jose State in Week 0, and it didn't look like there was much improvement against Arizona State and Colorado the last two weeks.

One strong area on the defense has been a Trojan pass rush that has 19 sacks, including 4.5 from Solomon Byrd, four from Jamil Muhammad and three from Romello Height.

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Arizona vs USC

Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Arizona and USC match up statistically:

Arizona Offense vs. USC Defense
Rush Success256
Line Yards1239
Pass Success1314
Finishing Drives502
Quality Drives5646
USC Offense vs. Arizona Defense
Rush Success358
Line Yards216
Pass Success673
Finishing Drives1335
Quality Drives2152
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling7360
PFF Coverage12454
Special Teams SP+6749
Middle 85151
Seconds per Play27.0 (69)26.4 (58)
Rush Rate46.6% (107)43.6% (111)

Arizona vs USC

Betting Pick & Prediction

This game has the feel of most every USC game in the Lincoln Riley era.

USC scores a lot, and the other team scores enough to make the game way closer than it should be.

The Trojans being favored by 21.5 points feels way too high, which is why I like Arizona to cover the spread. Even though USC will almost certainly lead by 21 or 28 or 35 points at times in this game, it's hard to believe it will win by 22 points over a decent Wildcats squad.

Pick: Arizona +21.5 or Better

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