Southern Miss vs. Troy Odds, Picks: How to Bet Battle Between These Two Profitable Teams
Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jason Brownlee (Southern Miss)
- Southern Miss and Troy go head-to-head in a battle between two of the most profitable squads against the spread this season.
- The Golden Eagles have won two in a row straight up, including a win over Tulane.
- Alex Hinton breaks down the matchup and offers up his top pick.
Southern Miss vs. Troy Odds
Southern Miss began the 2022 season with a heartbreaking 29-27 overtime loss to Liberty. It was competitive for a half at Miami (FL) before it fell 30-7.
Since then, the Golden Eagles have won two in a row, thumping Northwestern State, 64-10, and beating Tulane, 27-24, as an 11.5-point underdog. Off of a bye week, the Golden Eagles will head to Troy for their conference opener.
Troy already has two conference games under its belt. The first was the heartbreaking loss to App State, 32-28, on a Hail Mary on the final play of the game. The Trojans have since responded with wins over Marshall and Western Kentucky to move to 3-2 and 1-1 in the Sun Belt.
This will be the fifth meeting in this series, with the teams splitting the first four. Last year, Troy won 21-9 in Hattiesburg.
This year's matchup will feature two of the most profitable teams in the country against the spread. Southern Miss is 4-0 ATS while Troy is 4-1. Which side will prevail on Saturday night?
Southern Miss wants to establish the run on offense and does so 60% of the time. The Golden Eagles have one of the better Group of Five backs in the country in running back Frank Gore Jr., the son of the future Hall of Fame running back.
Gore Jr. leads USM with 314 rushing yards on 5.1 yards and three touchdowns. However, USM averages just 3.6 yards per carry as a team and is 120th in Rushing Success Rate.
Southern Miss is much more successful when it puts the ball in the air, ranking 76th in Passing Success Rate. It uses two quarterbacks in true freshman Zach Wilcke and redshirt freshman Ty Keyes.
The Golden Eagles began the season with Keyes as the starter, but expect Wilcke to make his fourth-consecutive start. Regardless of who is under center, Southern Miss has struggled to protect them. It ranks 130th in Pass Blocking Grade and 121st in Havoc Allowed.
Wide receiver Jakarius Caston leads the team with 20 receptions for 262 yards and three touchdowns.
Wide receiver Jarvis Brownlee is the big-play threat with 11 receptions for 225 yards and a touchdown. For his career, he is averaging 16.1 yards per catch, including 20.5 yards per grab this season.
Against FBS opponents, Southern Miss is averaging 20.3 points per game, but its defense has kept it in games. The Golden Eagles are allowing 23.2 points per game and are currently sixth in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring defense.
They rank 35th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 20th in Passing Success Rate Allowed.
Against Gunnar Watson and the Troy passing attack, USM will need a big performance from its secondary.
However, it has the pass rush to disrupt Troy. Southern Miss is 24th in the FBS in Havoc and eighth with 3.5 sacks per game.
Junior defensive lineman Dominic Quewon leads the team with three sacks. He already has matched his career-high through the first four games.
While Southern Miss wants to run the ball, Troy wants to sling the ball around the yard. It passes on 55% of its offensive snaps and ranks 20th in Passing Success Rate.
Watson is completing 64.5% of his passes and has thrown for 1,451 yards. However, he has thrown five touchdowns against six interceptions.
Sixth-year senior running back DK Billingsley leads the team with 284 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He averages 5.6 yards per carry, but as a team, the Trojans average just 2.5 yards per carry.
That's partially due to Watson being sacked 16 times. However, Troy ranks just 118th in Rushing Success Rate, which means it will have a tough time rushing on Southern Miss this week.
Troy has six receivers with double-digit receptions already and five receivers with over 150 yards.
Junior wide receiver Deshon Stoudemire leads the team with 25 receptions for 255 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Jabre Barber leads the team with 331 receiving yards on 23 receptions and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Troy surrenders 22.2 points per game, which is fifth in the Sun Belt. It only has allowed 30 points once — in the loss to Appalachian State.
The Trojans are led by a pass rush that is tied for ninth in the FBS with 3.4 sacks per game.
Sophomore defensive lineman T.J. Jackson is enjoying a breakout season with eight tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Edge rushers Richard Jibunor and Javon Solomon each have 2.5 sacks.
While Troy thrives at getting after the passer, it can be run on. It ranks just 107th in Rushing Success Rate. Southern Miss figures to be a good matchup for the Trojans in that area this week, but the Trojans will have to contend with Gore.
Southern Miss vs. Troy Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Southern Miss and Troy match up statistically:
Southern Miss Offense vs. Troy Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Troy Offense vs. Southern Miss Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||52||37|
|Seconds per Play||27.7 (91)||25.8 (46)|
|Rush Rate||60.2% (23)||45.0% (111)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Southern Miss vs. Troy Betting Pick
There is nothing pretty about Southern Miss' offense, but it gets the done.
This week, I expect the defense to lead the way. The Golden Eagles' defense is going to put a ton of pressure on Watson, and when he is under pressure, mistakes will come.
A couple of interceptions from Watson could give USM a few short fields and be the difference in what I expect to be a tight battle.
Southern Miss is 4-0 against the spread and Troy is 4-1, however, Troy's one ATS loss came as a favorite.
Catching over a touchdown, I like the points with the underdog here. I will be backing the Golden Eagles +6.5, and the ML is worth a sprinkle, as well.