BYU vs. USC Odds & Picks: Don’t Expect Pac-12 After Dark Blowout

BYU vs. USC Odds & Picks: Don’t Expect Pac-12 After Dark Blowout article feature image

Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Vavae Malepeai #6 of the USC Trojans.

  • BYU is favored on Saturday night in Los Angeles against USC.
  • The Cougars' fate is sealed and have little to play for, while the Trojans look for a strong finish to 2021.
  • Kody Malstrom breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

BYU vs. USC Odds

Saturday, Nov. 27
10:30 p.m. ET
BYU Odds
-105o / -115u
USC Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

This is usually the week where we see middling five-win teams go out with one last ditch of effort to go bowling. While that is not the case for this matchup, desperation remains the same for the USC Trojans.

USC saw its game against California get canceled due to a COVID outbreak before the showdown was rescheduled for December 4th. Sitting at a 4-6, USC still has a chance to get to a bowl game by winning its last two games.

On the other hand, BYU has comfortably dominated all season long, sitting at 9-2. The Cougars came into the season with question marks after losing Zach Wilson to the draft, but they have comfortably answered all concerns.

With USC playing with its backs against the wall and a beautiful color scheme matchup under the lights, this has all the makings for a great night cap.

BYU Cougars

BYU Offense

Don't get it wrong, Wilson was incredibly talented and would be hard to replace. Any normal team would take a step back after losing a talent like that. That was not the case with BYU this season.

The BYU offense continues to be a powerhouse, achieving top-25 ranks in nearly every offensive advanced metric.

Quarterback Jaren Hall has stepped up, slinging it to the tune of 2,307 yards, 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He has led BYU to a Passing Success Rate rank of 24th in the nation.

Another key player for the offense all season has been stud running back Tyler Allgeier. He has been a man possessed, running for 1,303 yards and 18 touchdowns.

BYU will have plenty of options to ruin USC's season, as the Trojans have an overall bad defense. With little to no answers to stop either the pass or the run, we may see video game numbers come out of BYU this game.

BYU Defense

While the BYU offense has steadied the ship, the defense has yet to really contribute at all. This defense is simply horrible, as it constantly gets bailed out.

BYU ranks below average in every single defensive metric. The secondary has been carved up all season, a result of generating little to no pass rush.

This tips toward USC's favor, as it is one of the heaviest passing units in football. The Trojans have a Rush Rate of 123rd in the nation.

There is a small sliver of hope in at least slowing down the pass, as USC's offensive line is slightly below average at defending the pass rush. While BYU's is also awful, the chance for it to make a play will always be there.

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USC Trojans

USC Offense

It's never easy for anyone to lose their starting quarterback, but USC has been managing to stay afloat without Kedon Slovis.

Quarterback Jaxson Dart has been modest since stepping up under center. He is recently coming off of a frustrating game against UCLA, where he threw for 325 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions.

As previously stated, this is one of the heaviest passing teams in football. Dart will look to exploit BYU's secondary and poor tackling by hitting his targets in open space and having them make a play.

If USC's defense can catch any break against this high-powered BYU offense and flip the field, points should be expected, as USC is far superior at Finishing Drives.

USC Defense

Going against one of the best offenses in football can be tough for anyone, let alone when you also have one of the worst defenses in football. That's not a recipe for success.

USC currently has ranks of 100 or worse in Def. Pass Success, Big Play, Havoc, PFF Tackling and Finishing Drives.

To sum that grouping up, this is a unit that is giving up big plays through the air with little to no fear of disrupting the pass. They will once against struggle to generate any Havoc, as BYU has one of the best offensive lines in football and an ultra-efficient pass attack.

BYU vs. USC Matchup Analysis

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

BYU Offense vs. USC Defense
Rush Success1085
Line Yards1882
Pass Success24126
Pass Blocking**256
Big Play4114
Finishing Drives36125
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

USC Offense vs. BYU Defense
Rush Success7282
Line Yards4666
Pass Success58110
Pass Blocking**68108
Big Play6102
Finishing Drives3388
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling87119
Middle 859124
SP+ Special Teams9861
Plays per Minute6931
Rush Rate54.6% (68)42.7% (123)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

BYU vs. USC Betting Pick

USC is coming into this game with its backs against the wall. Sometimes this is exactly what a team needs to be able to take the next step.

I believe that will be the case in this game. Win the game? Maybe. Cover the spread? That's what we are going to bank on.

BYU has nothing to play for and may come in sleepy. The BYU defense is already putrid, a unit that the USC offense should be able to pass all over and put points on the board against.

The back door will constantly be lurking as this spread is a full touchdown and the Trojans will give it their all to the final buzzer to keep their bowl season hopes alive.

The potential of a big play can happen at any moment to keep them always within reach. They will never be out of this game as they out rank the BYU defense in every category.

I grabbed the opener of +7.5 and would play this no less than +7.

Pick: USC +7.5 (Play to +7)

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