Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#171 Arizona State vs.
#172 Southern California (USC)
Saturday, October 1, 2022 at 10:30pm EDT
Written by Chris King

Two teams with different outlooks after the opening month of the season hope to start October off on the right note in a Pac-12 clash in the City of Angels. The Arizona State Sun Devils are on the road as they make the trip north to face the #6 USC Trojans Saturday night. Arizona State was drubbed 34-13 at home by #13 Utah, failing to cover as a 17-point underdog, in their previous contest last Saturday. USC had a war on their hands but managed to escape with a 17-14 road win over Oregon State though they failed to cover as a 5.5-point favorite last Saturday. In the all-time series between the programs, the Trojans own a 24-14 advantage though it was the Sun Devils prevailing 31-16 at home in the most recent meeting on November 6, 2021.

Arizona State Sun Devils Hoping to Spring Upset

Arizona State was overmatched as they were waxed at home by #13 Utah last week and now have to face the other Pac-12 South powerhouse in this contest. The Sun Devils enter this game 1-3 overall and stand 0-1 in the Pac-12 after losing Shawn Aguano’s head coaching debut following the firing of Herm Edwards. Against Utah, Arizona State trailed 14-0 after the opening quarter and 17-0 midway through the second quarter to wind up in a hole they were unable to climb out of in the game. The Sun Devils never got closer than 14 the rest of the way. Arizona State was outgained 465-267 in total offense, gave up 26 first downs while recording 15 and lost the time of possession by a 35:33 to 24:27 margin. The Sun Devils also turned the ball over three times while recording only one takeaway.

The Sun Devils are averaging 204.5 yards per game through the air this season (101st in the nation) while they run for 143.5 yards per contest, which is 86th in the country. Arizona State is 106th in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 22.8 points per game and they stand 71st in scoring defense by allowing 25.2 points per contest. Emory Jones is 66 of 110 passing for 818 yards with three touchdowns and two picks this season while adding 12 yards plus three scores on the ground. Xazavian Valladay leads the team on the ground with 60 carries for 391 yards plus four scores this season. Daniyel Ngata (21 carries, 125 yards) and Tevin White (eight carries, 29 yards) are next in line for the run game opportunities. Elijhah Badger leads the team with 22 receptions for 293 yards plus a score this season. Giovanni Sanders (10 grabs, 164 yards) is the only other player with double-digit receptions and at least 100 receiving yards on the year. Carter Brown has connected on all 10 extra point attempts and seven of eight field goal attempts with a long of 47 this season.

USC Trojans Seek to Remain Unbeaten

USC had a tougher than expected battle last week up in Corvallis but managed to find a way to hang on for the victory. The Trojans enter this game 4-0 on the season overall and they are 2-0 in the Pac-12. USC trailed 7-3 at the half and after three quarters, took a 10-7 lead in the fourth and trailed 14-10 with 4:41 to play before mounting one final drive. The Trojans went 84 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Caleb Williams to Jordan Addison with 1:13 to play to take the lead for good. USC’s defense made the final play, picking off a pass to thwart Oregon State’s last drive and secure the win. The Trojans held a 357-320 edge in total offense, picked up 21 first downs while allowing 18 and controlled the clock by a 30:15 to 29:45 margin. USC forced four Oregon State turnovers while not committing one in the contest.

The Trojans are tied for 31st in the nation in passing offense with 283.8 yards per game while they rank 32nd in rushing by averaging 195.5 yards per contest. USC is 18th in the FBS in scoring offense with 42.2 points per game while they rank 30th in the country of the 131 FBS teams to play in scoring defense by giving up 18.2 points per contest. Caleb Williams is 80 of 122 passing for 1,054 yards with nine touchdowns against no interceptions while adding 100 yards and two scores on the ground. Miller Moss is six of seven for 81 yards plus 13 yards on the ground in mop-up duty. Travis Dye leads the team on the ground with 49 carries for 360 yards plus three scores this season. Austin Jones (29 carries, 207 yards, three TD) and Raleek Brown (13 carries, 63 yards, TD) are the next backs in line for the ground game. Jordan Addison leads the team with 21 receptions for 337 yards and six scores this season. Mario Williams (13 catches, 216 yards, TD) and Tahj Washington (11 grabs, 153 yards) are good secondary options as well. Denis Lynch has hit all 22 extra point attempts and five of seven field goal attempts this season with a long of 45.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Arizona State has a challenge ahead of them in this contest. The Sun Devils have struggled when it comes to playing on the road as they were beaten by 17 by Oklahoma State in their lone road tilt this season. USC has yet to commit a turnover offensively this season while they have recorded 15 takeaways on the season. The Trojans average 5.6 yards per carry and 10 touchdowns on the ground so far this season. Meanwhile, Arizona State has allowed 235.7 yards per game on the ground during their three-game slide. The Sun Devils have given up at least 458 yards in each of the games in that stretch while USC has gone over the 500-yard mark in total offense three times already this season. Playing at home, you have to give the Trojans the upper hand here as they run their mark to 5-0 on the season.

Prediction: USC Trojans -24.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Arizona State comes into this game having seen the under hit in each of their four games on the season. The Sun Devils have seen combined point totals of 43 (vs. Northern Arizona), 51 (at Oklahoma State), 56.5 (vs. Eastern Michigan) and 53.5 (vs. Utah) this season. In those games, Arizona State had totals of 52.5, 56.5, 56.5 and 53.5 points set by the sportsbooks in Vegas. USC comes into this one having split their four games on the year in relation to the total. The Trojans have posted combined totals of 80 points (vs. Rice), 69 (at Stanford), 62 (vs. Fresno State) and 31 (at Oregon State) on the year. In those games, the totals set by Vegas came in at 61, 66.5, 71.5 and 71 points, respectively. USC is going to get their share of points in this one but it’s hard to see Arizona State doing enough to push this one over the number.

Prediction: Under 61

Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.