The BYU Cougars are playing their best football of the year as their regular season comes to an end and they await their bowl fate. In order to stay in contention for a potential New Year’s Six bowl, BYU will need to take care of business against the USC Trojans who have dealt with coaching turmoil and injuries during a really disappointing season.
The college football odds have the Cougars as seven-point favorites on the road.
- Game: BYU Cougars (9-2) at USC Trojans (4-6)
- Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
- Day/Time: Saturday, Nov. 27, 10:30 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
BYU Cougars vs USC Trojans Betting Lines
|BYU Cougars||-7 (-110)||-250||o64 (-110)|
|USC Trojans||+7 (-110)||+210||u64 (-110)|
These teams have only played three times, with the most recent matchup being a 30-27 BYU win in 2019. Current New York Jet Zach Wilson threw for 280 yards and a touchdown for the Cougars and added a rushing score as well. The Indianapolis Colts’ Michael Pittman caught nine passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans in the loss.
USC won the first two meetings — in 2003 and ’04.
Next game: TBD
BYU took advantage of a lesser opponent in Georgia Southern last weekend, scoring the final 20 points of the game to win 34-17. Jaren Hall threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns for the Cougars while Tyler Allgeier ran for 136 yards and a score. BYU held Georgia Southern to 268 total yards on offense.
For as well as the Cougars played, they still didn’t cover the 20-point spread as big road favorites. The under (57 points) didn’t hit as there were only 14 second-half points scored.
The Cougars could be missing a few key players on Saturday. Offensive lineman Jordan Empey and linebacker Chaz Ah You are questionable while wide receiver Neil Pau’u (leg) is listed as doubtful and isn’t expected to play against the Trojans. Offensive lineman Harris LaChance and defensive back Keenan Ellis are still out as well.
Next game: at California
The Trojans were lit up by their cross-city rival, UCLA, on Saturday, getting blown out 62-33 in a game that wasn’t close after the first quarter. USC had no answers for Dorian Thompson-Robinson (349 passing yards, 46 rushing yards, six total touchdowns) or Zach Charbonnet (167 rushing yards and a score), and Trojans quarterback Jaxson Dart threw a few interceptions while the game was still within reach.
USC didn’t come close to covering as 3½-point home underdogs. The over (65½ points) hit with a full quarter to spare.
USC is banged-up on offense. Running back Keontay Ingram was hurt against UCLA and is questionable with an upper body injury, as is starting quarterback Kedon Slovis — who hasn’t played since Nov. 6. Tight end Michael Trigg is questionable with a leg injury and star wide receiver Drake London (ankle) is out for the season.
Defensive lineman Kobe Pepe and Ishmael Sopsher are questionable as well.
Betting on the Game
It’s pretty clear that USC is playing out the string under interim head coach Donte Williams in a lost season for the Trojans. BYU, on the other hand, is No. 13 in the current AP Top 25 poll and has won four games in a row.
The Cougars opened up as seven-point favorites on the BetUS Sportsbook and the line hasn’t budged from there this week. Considering how well BYU has played as of late — and how much USC has struggled on both sides of the ball — there could be some late movement in favor of the Cougars but it might be unlikely at this point.
The Trojans have a tough task ahead of them with having to stop Hall, Allgeier (one of the country’s best running backs), and star wide receivers Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney — just back in the lineup after a month-long injury. It won’t be any easier for USC to score if Slovis and Ingram aren’t able to play either.
If you’re making college football picks, it might be smart to side with BYU’s spread. There is some value with USC on the moneyline but that would have to be more of a longshot pick with all of the Trojans’ injury issues.
The over/under could be an interesting gamble if you’re betting online. It’s a high total right now so it might make sense to go with the under because it could be difficult for undermanned USC to put up a bunch of points.
Dart is a talented quarterback but he’s not nearly as polished as Slovis is and, if he doesn’t have Ingram, he’ll be really limited in terms of which skill-position players he’ll be able to turn to.