College Football Picks: Fade Overvalued USC Against Utah

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 9:06 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 9:06 PM UTC

Our college football consultant breaks down Saturday’s Pac-12 showdown between Utah and USC. Join us in reading this revealing betting preview article that includes his college football pick.

Utes in Hollywood on Saturday
USC (3-3) will host #3 Utah (6-0) on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The opening kickoff is slated for 7:30 PM ET and the game will be aired nationally by NBC. Early college football odds show USC as a 3.5-point favorite and the posted total to be 59. Since Utah joined the Pac-12 in 2011, they’ve gone 1-3 against USC, and their lone victory came last year in Salt Lake by a score of 24-21.


Motivation for the Utah
Despite an undefeated record in addition to their #3 national ranking, Utah finds itself as more than a field goal underdog, versus an opponent which has lost their last two, and three of its previous four games. Besides those facts,  Utah has put together an impressive resume of wins over #15 Michigan, Utah State, Oregon, #20 California, and Arizona State. Heading into this week’s action, those five teams have a combined record of 22-11 (.667). The three wins by USC this season have come over Arkansas State (Sun Belt), Idaho (Sun Belt), and Arizona State. Those three teams are a combined 9-10 in 2015. It’s certainly apparent that Utah hasn’t garnered the respect of the odds makers to this point, or maybe USC is grossly overvalued.


Tumultuous Time in Troy
The USC Trojans were one of the preseason favorites to reach the College Football Playoff on New Year’s Eve. However, they now need to regroup under an interim head coach, and overcome a huge embarrassment surrounding the unprofessional behavior of recently fired former head coach Steve Sarkisian. They did some show fight last Saturday during a 41-31 loss at #11 Notre Dame. They were able to rack up 590 yards of total offense, but their defense continued its inconsistent play which has plagued them all year. The Trojans defense has allowed 400 yards or more in four of six games this year. With the exception of the loss to Washington, Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler has performed at a very high level.


Betting System Favors Undefeated Dog
Any undefeated underdog of 5.5 or less that’s playing in game 6 or beyond, versus an opponent coming off a loss, and that opponent has a winning percentage of .900 or less, resulted in the underdog going 24-5 ATS since 1981. The underdog also won 21 of those 29 games outright.


Final Analysis
The worst thing that could’ve happened for USC in this matchup was the sportsbooks installing them as a favorite. Utah is good enough without the extra motivation provided from being an underdog. I’m siding with the Utah for one of my college football picks.

College Football Picks: Play on Utah +3.5 at BetCRIS

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