USC opens as betting favorite in massive Pac-12 South clash
USC is a 3-point favorite in its mid-season tilt with defending Pac-12 champion Utah this fall.
That’s according to an early line from FanDuel, which released a batch of early point spreads for marquee 2022 games earlier this week. The Trojans lost to the Utes in Los Angeles last season 42-26, but prior to that defeat they’d won seven of the previous 10 meetings since Utah joined the league in 2011.
The Trojans will face Utah in Salt Lake City—making the early line even more curious—on Oct. 15.
With Lincoln Riley coming over from Oklahoma this offseason and bringing a slew of high-profile transfers with him, most notably former OU quarterback Caleb Williams, expectations are high in Southern California and they only seem to be growing by the day.
In some sportsbooks, USC is a favorite to win the Pac-12 in 2022. Most view the Trojans as one of the three most-likely conference winners. On the heels of a 4-8 campaign, that would require a significant turnaround in a short amount of time.
Riley hasn’t shied away from expectations since taking the job, but Utah will pose a significant challenge.
The Utes went 10-3 last season to claim the program’s first Pac-12 championship and nearly won a Rose Bowl to cap the year. This season, they return star quarterback Cameron Rising and last season’s Pac-12 rushing touchdowns leader in Tavion Thomas. The 6-foot-2 tailback broke the single-season rushing touchdowns record at Utah (21 scores) in his first year with the program, earning All-Pac-12 First Team honors.
ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) views the Utes as about a 7.5-point favorite in the matchup with the Trojans. A kickoff time has not yet been announced.