USC vs. Arizona State College Football Odds & Pick: Pac-12 After Dark Betting Preview

USC vs. Arizona State College Football Odds & Pick: Pac-12 After Dark Betting Preview article feature image
Credit:

Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Kedon Slovis.

  • USC travels to Arizona for a Pac-12 matchup Saturday night.
  • The Wildcats are 8.5-point favorites over the Trojans who are down one of the best wideouts in college football.
  • Kody Malstrom breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.

USC vs. Arizona State Odds

Saturday, Nov. 6
10:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
USC Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+8.5
60
-110o / -110u
+260
Arizona State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-8.5
60
-110o / -110u
-335
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Every so often, there’s a result of a game that may be off your radar, but when you see how it ended, your jaw drops through the floor. For me, that was Arizona State getting steamrolled by Washington State.

Coming in as a 16.5-point favorite, Arizona State saw its Pac-12 hopes disappear as it constantly shot itself in the foot all game. With multiple turnovers, the Sun Devils gift-wrapped Washington State an upset win.

While Arizona State had bad luck for a single game, USC recently experienced bad luck that will hinder the rest of its season.

A few days ago, it was announced breakout star wide receiver Drake London is out for the rest of the season with an ankle fracture — a huge blow to the Trojan offense.

With USC dealing with a myriad of injuries and Arizona State trying to re-figure out its offense, this late-night matchup is setting up to be a great nightcap for Week 10.


USC Trojans

USC Offense

As we continue through the back half of the season, USC finds itself in a must-win situation if it wants to go bowling.

Sitting at 4-4, its recent falters have been in no part due to the offense. This unit is sneaky good. It needs to be reminded that these metrics are before London’s injury, which remains a significant blow to the receiving corps.

USC still has a great pass attack, one that ranks 23rd in Pass Success. Quarterback Kedon Slovis has made himself comfortable in the pocket behind an offensive line that ranks 28th in the nation.

So far this season, Slovis has thrown for 2,022 yards, 11 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He will find himself free in the pocket once again, as ASU has a weak pass rush.

Where this gets interesting is the Havoc and Finishing Drives matchup. Both teams rank near dead-even in these metrics.

If USC wants to avoid getting stopped past the 40, Slovis may look to connect on the big play, a metric that ASU is weak at stopping.

USC Defense

The majority of USC’s disappointing season can be put on the shoulders of the defense. This is a unit that allowed Arizona — one of the worst teams in the Power Five — to score 34.

The unit that ranks 100th or worse in three defensive metrics.

USC does not generate Havoc whatsoever, ranking 110th. The lack of disruptions and turnovers is keeping opposing drives alive as they march down the field. It may find disruptions to be even more scarce, as ASU boasts one of the best offensive lines in the nation.

The Trojans also rank 120th in Def. Finishing Drives, almost guaranteeing points for any team that gets past the 40.

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Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State Offense

If last week was your first time watching Arizona State play, then you might assume it’s one of the worst offensive units in college football.

That’s not the case with the Sun Devils. Mistakes happen. This is still a very good offense that boasts great ranks across the board.

They rank top-10 in four offensive metrics, with two of them being in the rushing game. ASU ranks eighth in Rush Success and third in Line Yards. This is in part due to dual-threat quarterback Jayden Daniels and running back Rachaad White.

So far this season, White has run for 477 yards and nine touchdowns at an average of 5.5 yards per carry. Daniels has contributed 432 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, along with his 1,734 passing yards and seven touchdowns through the air.

ASU will look to keep it on the ground, as USC is a bad defense all around and will be scrambling to find answers to contain the ASU offense. If Arizona State finds itself past the 40, then you can almost assume it will put points on the board.

Arizona State Defense

If Arizona State wants to avoid dropping three games in a row, then this defense will need to step up its level of play. It’s not that it’s bad, but being middle-of-the-pack will not get it to where it wants to be.

The defensive line is the weakest unit, ranking 85th in Def. Line Yards and 77th in Def. Pass Rush. The unit generates no pressure in the backfield, giving opposing quarterbacks extra time in the pocket. This has put added pressure on the secondary, which ranks 41st in Def. Pass Success.

Even with London out, ASU will have its hands full against the pass if it can’t get to Slovis.

The matchup to watch will be USC’s Offense Finishing Drives and ASU’s Defensive Finishing Drives metrics. Ranking near dead-even, a live bet may come into play based on what breaks first between the two units.


USC vs. Arizona State Matchup Analysis

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

USC Offense vs. Arizona State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 69 45
Line Yards 26 85
Pass Success 23 41
Pass Blocking** 28 77
Big Play 12 52
Havoc 25 28
Finishing Drives 37 35
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Arizona State Offense vs. USC Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 8 68
Line Yards 3 71
Pass Success 52 121
Pass Blocking** 7 46
Big Play 8 66
Havoc 77 110
Finishing Drives 39 120
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 97 48
Coverage 97 61
Middle 8 120 37
SP+ Special Teams 58 103
Plays per Minute 40 104
Rush Rate 43.% (123) 57.9% (44)

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


USC vs. Arizona State Betting Pick

I can’t trust either team to cover the number because of a shaky USC defense and a turnover-happy Arizona State offense, so my attention will be on the total.

Arizona State needs to whip itself back into shape, and it needs to do so fast if it wants to avoid dropping its third game in a row. It will need to find its offensive production and limit turnovers that have been killing it of late.

That means the Sun Devils will need to add emphasis to protecting the ball, which is beneficial to the over. Hopefully, they will stop wasting time driving down the field to only flip the field with a fumble or an interception.

Points should come in bunches for ASU, as it’s a dual-threat attack and one that USC will have a hard time figuring out.

USC should also do its part in helping get the over ticket to the window, as ASU is an average defense and one that USC can exploit with a solid air attack. London will be missed, but that just means other weapons will need to step up.

I grabbed a first-half over 28.5 and would play this no higher than 29.5. I will monitor this game closely and add pieces to the total as it plays out.

Pick: 1H Over 28.5 (Play to 29.5)

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