Entering its swan song season in the Pac-12, the USC football team is among the most popular bets in the country.

The Trojans have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Caleb Williams, leading one of the most potent offenses in the game. They’ve got a talented defense that is seeking to become more stable in Year 2 of the Lincoln Riley era. And they’ve got a dynamic return game and depth on both sides.

Are they fit for a College Football Playoff run? What about a national championship? How about just a Pac-12 title?

Sportsbooks seem to think so.

And so does Riley.

“Listen, we got a great opportunity in front of us,” the 2nd-year USC coach said at Pac-12 Media Day last week. “I think everybody within our program, every player, senses that and wants to do a great job of taking advantage of this. These windows are short. You only get so many shots at this. I think for us, does it motivate us any more if it wasn’t our last year in the Pac-12? No. Is there also a sense of this is your last chance to play some of these teams, to go into some of these venues? Absolutely, you feel that. We want to make sure we put our best foot forward.”

Let’s examine the Trojans’ odds, less than a month before they kick off their season with an Aug. 26 tilt with the San Jose State Spartans …

Odds to win 10 or more games

FanDuel: -170

DraftKings: +100

BetMGM (over 9.5): -175

BetRivers (over 9.5): -182

Ten feels like the exact right number, given USC’s second-half gauntlet.

After perhaps the easiest first half in the country — home games against the Spartans, Nevada and Stanford before road tests at Arizona State and Colorado, followed by one last home game against the Wildcats — the Trojans barely get a reprieve in the final 6 weeks.

Traveling to Notre Dame and Oregon won’t be easy, and nor will hosting Utah, Washington and UCLA.

I see at least a pair of losses in that grouping, unless USC’s defense matures in a hurry.

Odds to win the Pac-12

FanDuel: +200

DraftKings: +190

BetMGM: +160

BetRivers: +180

USC seemed headed straight for a Pac-12 title in Riley’s debut year, but Utah spoiled the fun in Las Vegas of all places. It was the Utes’ 2nd win over the Trojans in 2022, with the Utah defense rising to the occasion in both matchups.

Unluckily for USC, Cam Rising is back for the Utes — and Michael Penix is back for Washington and Bo Nix is back for Oregon.

That doesn’t spell an easy path back to Sin City for the Trojans.

And don’t sleep on Oregon State. The Beavers are +1100 on FanDuel, and that might just be the best bet in the conference.

Odds to make the College Football Playoff

FanDuel: +230

DraftKings: +250

BetMGM: +225

BetRivers: +280

USC fans were ready to start booking CFP tickets last year before the Utes upended the Trojans in spectacular fashion, relegating them to the Cotton Bowl against Tulane.

Can the Trojans bid goodbye to the Pac-12 in style, with the league’s first CFP berth since 2016 and just 3rd ever? There would certainly be a ton of significance, with the CFP field growing to 12 next year and each of the Power 5 conferences guaranteed at least 1 berth.

USC has the 5th-shortest consensus odds behind Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and Alabama. Those 4, along with Clemson and few others, have dominated preseason rankings in recent years. Like last year, the Trojans have to hope that the Dawgs, Buckeyes, Wolverines and Crimson Tide cancel each other out a bit, and they also have to pray another TCU doesn’t emerge.

Odds to win the national championship

FanDuel: +1600

DraftKings: +1600

BetMGM: +1400

BetRivers: +1200

Despite plenty of stiff competition in the Pac-12, the sportsbook consensus gives USC the 6th-best odds to win their first national title in nearly 2 decades.

Ahead of them, the usual suspects: Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama and LSU.

The SEC is clearly overrepresented here, with the Tigers being the unlikeliest candidates, but it appears likely we will either see a pair of SEC squads or the Big Ten’s best 2 both make it once more.

Odds to go undefeated

FanDuel: +550

FanDuel is the only 1 of the 4 big books to offer odds on teams going undefeated, and this feels like just about the worst USC bet on the boards. The Trojans would have to improve on the defensive side of the ball by leaps and bounds, and they just don’t have the horsepower to do it. Going back to that second-half schedule, it’s a big stretch to imagine the defense shutting down a trio of Heisman candidates, including 2 of the top contenders in Nix and Penix. And Sam Hartman and the Irish won’t be a breeze, either.

Odds for Caleb Williams to win the Heisman Trophy

FanDuel: +500

DraftKings: +550

BetMGM: +500

The USC quarterback is vying to become just the second back-to-back Heisman winner in the history of the award, joining Ohio State running back Archie Griffin. Williams is part of a crowded Pac-12 field that includes Nix and Penix, as well as Rising, plus he’ll have to fend off the likes of North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

Riley thinks he stands a chance.

“His ability to continue to want to climb, the hunger to do that is very apparent on a day-to-day basis,” Riley said. “Great quarterbacks at the end of the day get defined by their team’s success, their championships. I know he’s very hungry to go close out this year with both.”