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The two top teams in the Pac-12 are headed on a crash course as No. 5 Washington prepares to take on No. 20 USC in Los Angeles this weekend.
Reigning Heisman winner Caleb Williams has not been his best lately and is about to go toe-to-toe with this year’s odds-on favorite, Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. This will be the first time the two schools have met since 2019 when Washington beat their rival at home, 28-14.
Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our insights and best bets for the Pacific Coast matchup.
Washington is a slight road favorite despite being a perfect 8-0 and USC struggling with its last three opponents.
|No. 5 Washington||-3 (-105)||-155||Over 76.5 (-112)|
|No. 20 USC||+3 (-115)||+130||Under 76.5 (-108)|
Even though Oregon is the sixth-ranked team in the country, Washington and USC have the two best conference records at 5-0 and 5-1.
USC barely survived 3-5 California in an epic 50-49 battle a week ago. That put an end to their two-game losing streak, during which they fell to No. 21 Notre Dame and No. 14 Utah.
Williams is second in the country in passing and averages 294 yards per game. He’s also tossed 25 touchdowns and only four interceptions and has the ninth-best QBR. Running back MarShawn Lloyd is the Pac-12’s leading rusher at 85.1 yards per game and has gained 7.7 yards per carry to go with eight touchdowns.
USC has no problems scoring and puts up 45.9 per game, which is the second-most in Division-I behind only LSU. Their defense, however, is a total mess and ranks 109th in points allowed per game (32.6). They’re 70th in third-down defense and 120th in red zone defense, allowing scores on nearly 94% of opponents’ entries.
Penix Jr. leads the Huskies on the other side of the matchup. He’s +280 to win the Heisman at DraftKings at the time of writing and leads all of college football with 368.1 passing yards per game, along with 24 touchdowns, six interceptions, and the sixth-best QBR.
Washington is ninth in the country in scoring offense (40.4 points per game) and, like USC, has an underrated running game. Dillon Johnson came up huge in a 36-33 win against Oregon a few weeks ago with 100 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
Where Washington separates itself from the Trojans is on defense. It is 33rd in points allowed per game (20.6) and 31st in the red zone, allowing scores on 76.9% of opponents’ entries.
There were suggestions that Williams could end his season prematurely to prepare for the NFL Draft, but that seems unlikely at this stage. Even though his numbers haven’t been as gaudy, he still threw for 628 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games.
That said, Penix Jr. is playing at an even better level than Williams and gets to face a much easier defense. The Trojans made the stale offenses of Notre Dame and Utah look dominant and then surrendered a season-high 49 points to a Cal team that had scored more than 40 against only one Power Five opponent.
USC is also 2-7 ATS, though Washington is only 3-4-1.
We like Washington to cover the field goal here. Their passing concepts and offensive talent make them virtually unguardable, especially by such a porous USC secondary. They can also get crucial stops on defense, whereas USC cannot.
Place your bets at DraftKings Sportsbook using our exclusive link.
A total of 76.5 is outrageous, but it fits the bill. Both of these teams want to turn the game into a shootout as quickly as possible and won’t rest until they do. We believe both will succeed and both teams have a great chance to crack 40 points, which leads us to believe in the over.
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Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
When: Saturday, Nov. 4 7:30/10:30 p.m. PT/ET
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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